PK Subban knows that standing on Center Ice at Montreal’s Bell Center on Thursday will stir the emotion.
Canadiens fans are known for their unbridled passion, and being embraced by them during his seven seasons with the team has been special, said the former NHL defenseman.
“In Montreal, we never had a night off,” Subban told The Canadian Press. “You didn’t have a choice because the audience gave you energy when you didn’t have it. They probably didn’t believe you were still in the game.” gave you faith.
“They got the best out of me, more than any other opponent I’ve had, more than anyone I’ve played against. They hold me accountable and really have my back.” He pushed me and supported me, which is why it gets so emotional for me.”
Montreal will honor Subban ahead of a game against the Nashville Predators, the team Habs signed in 2016.
The 33-year-old announced in September that he would retire after 13 seasons in the NHL with the Canadiens, Predators and New Jersey Devils.
Selected 43rd overall by the Hub in the 2007 Entry Draft, the 6-foot, 210-pound Toronto native has scored 115 goals and 467 points in 824 regular season games. He added an additional 62 points (18 goals, 44 assists) in his 96 playoff appearances, and Norris won his trophy as the league’s top defenseman while playing for Montreal in 2013. .
Still, Subban was surprised when the Canadiens called to say they wanted to host a tribute.
“I am very excited that the work you have done has been recognized,” he said. “But I think a big part of that is not just what I’ve done on the ice, it’s something I’m very proud of. , is what you can do, put your hat on.
Giving back has always been important to Subban.
He still vividly remembers the day he signed his first contract with Montreal and how he realized he was about to change his family’s life. It’s a memory that didn’t exist.
“For me, that moment was a pivotal time in my career. But I also knew there was a platform where I could help others,” he said.
Subban’s latest initiative is working with Kraft Hockeyville. This is an annual event where communities across the country share their stories and connections to hockey as they vie for his $250,000 arena upgrade and the chance to host an NHL preseason game.
Nominations for the 2023 competition are open and will close on February 19th.
“As Canadians, hockey is our sport. We take great pride in the game and what it brings us,” said Subban.
“Compared to other countries and other places in the world, this is what we really have in our arms. is ideal.”
Growing up, hockey wasn’t always easily accessible for Subban and his four siblings. His parents, who immigrated to Canada from the Caribbean, worked hard to give their children every opportunity, but the Subban brother still wore his hand-me-down skates and pads.
Craft hockey bills increase opportunities for children to participate in the game, Subban said.
“There are a lot of people who love our game and want to play it. But it’s an expensive game,” he said. “It takes a lot of people who want to make a difference to fund arenas, fund equipment and support communities.”
It’s been a while since Subban himself has been out on the ice.
“I haven’t had a hockey stick since I retired,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t skate.”
Instead of skating clinics and stickhandling drills, the charismatic athlete uses his experience, unique style and league connections to contribute to the sport he loves in new roles. ESPN announced in November that Subban had signed his three-year contract to work as his full-time hockey analyst.
“I found myself taking on that responsibility as a responsibility to support the game and help grow it in many ways,” Subban said.
“And being my age and not being so far away from the game of hockey, I think it’s a huge bonus. I’m trying to use the method
However, there are days when I miss being part of an NHL team.
“Of course I will miss the games, I will miss being with my teammates and going on road trips. But I still miss my first girlfriend. ‘ said Subban.
“You will miss something in your life, but it’s only a small part of life. I look forward to becoming.”