Sports News

P.K. Subban keeps contract negotiations quiet

By Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Star defenceman P.K. Subban is keeping quiet about negotiations on a new contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

Subban is scheduled to go to arbitration on Friday unless he can ink a new deal with the club before then.

"I'll answer one question about the negotiation: It's been kept pretty quiet the whole time and it's going to remain that way until a deal's done," he said Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal. "As of right now, I'm just trying to enjoy the day and not think of anything."

No matter how often he was asked in a scrum with media, there was no news on how much money the 2013 Norris Trophy winner is seeking or whether he wants a short or long-term deal.

It may end up being among the richest contracts in the league, considering that the NHL salary cap will rise substantially next season and perhaps again the year after that.

"There's a lot of things on my mind," he said. "First of all, I love golf.

"My favourite now is Graeme McDowell. I hope he picks it up here and pulls out a win for me. We had a great dinner last night. He's also represented by RBC. That has taken my focus off a lot of things, not just contractual or hockey things."

He applauded the deal the Canadiens signed this week with centre Lars Eller a day before he was scheduled to go to arbitration. Eller, after an ordinary regular season and a strong playoffs, inked a four-year US$14 million contract.

"He deserves it," said Subban. "He's played well and he's a big part of our team."

Subban, who helped Canada to hockey gold at the Sochi Games in February, took part in a chipping contest with fellow Olympic athletes Brad Jacobs, a curling gold medallist, and snowboarder Caroline Calve.

"This is probably the shortest summer I've ever had because of how far we went in the playoffs," said Subban, whose team reached the Eastern Conference final. "But it's a good thing because you know the season's close to starting.

"I think it's 74 days before puck drops. I'm trying to enjoy the summer but the hard training has already started."

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