P.K. Subban is still unsigned in Montreal, and there’s the question of…why?
John Shannon of Sportsnet reported yesterday on MvsW that the two sides are $3M per year apart. Montreal only wants to pay him $3M per year, while Subban wants $6M. Part of this may be because Montreal has a new GM, and Subban’s agent knows he can’t risk losing out on Subban.
Per Eklund (grain of salt):
One source, “You would think a team would match, but Montreal is almost daring teams to offer sheet, and the thought out there is perhaps they would rather have the picks that would accompany an offer over $5M per…”
So, if that’s true, what does this mean for the Flyers?
My first inclination to say the Flyers should have offer sheeted him over the summer, as soon as the Shea Weber offer sheet fell through. My second thought was we should have done it the minute the lockout ended….but then I wonder, is there any point?
This new CBA, and Jeff Marek mentioned, kills the idea of the offer sheet for the top 3 forward and top pairing defender. Let me explain: There are two ways to make an offer sheet work, as the Shea Weber offer sheet showed. You front load the contract, and you make it exceedingly long. With the new CBA you can’t frontload the contract, and you can’t make it over 7 years long.
If the Flyers were to call Subban’s agent, his agent would say “We’d love to sign with the Flyers.” After the Flyers submitted the offer sheet, his agent would call Montreal and say “Hey, this is what the Flyers are offering. Would you like to make an offer with a slightly lower cap hit, but include the 8th year? If not we’ll sign with the Flyers.” Assuming that Montreal agrees on the value of Subban, they’d simply match the offer. If they really believe the Flyers are overpaying they wouldn’t match, but does anyone really think they wouldn’t match? If they’re going to match, why wouldn’t they take a slightly lower cap hit and include an 8th year?
So if we’ve established that the offer sheet is largely a moot point, should we offer it?
HELL YES. PK Subban is a kid with top pairing potential. On the Flyers he’d be one of the top three defensemen right now, and depending on your opinion on Coburn, he’d be top 2. Kimmo Timonen’s deal expires after this season, so we have some cap space even before any buyout scenarios (I’M LOOKING AT YOU BRYZGALOV) and Pronger and Walker are going to be on LTIR. John Shannon (again) said yesterday that Meszaros is more hurt than anyone is letting on, and we’re starting Bruno Gervais. PK Subban solves a whole lot of problems if we can get him.
Let’s assume the Flyers offer a 7y/42M contract to Subban, which is the $6M he wants. The only downside if Montreal doesn’t match is that the Flyers would lose their first, second, and third round pick in the draft this year, which is being held in New Jersey. The Flyers likely wouldn’t want to go over $6,728,781 per year, as it would cost them their first round pick next year as well, when the draft is in Philadelphia. Sure, the Flyers love to use those picks in trades, but that’s essentially what this is: the Flyers are trading those picks for PK Subban, and honestly, which Flyers fan in his right mind wouldn’t trade our first three picks for 7 years of PK Subban??
The unmentioned upside if Montreal doesn’t match is that we get to piss off Montreal fans, which is something I totally support.
Finally, if Montreal matches, who cares? We tried, and that’s all you can ask of our front office. Remember how exciting the Shea Weber week was? PK Week would be just as awesome. He’s great on TV, he’d be loved in Flyerdom, and his infuriating annoying style would suddenly become our favorite thing about him…he’d be Montreal’s Tom Berenger. Just imagine the boos he’d get in Montreal if he signed with the evil Flyers. That would make my day three times a year.