Subban contract dispute enters a new phase

The contact dispute enters a new phase with the season opener and the early season results will have a bearing on the talks. Tomas Kaberle has moved into the top four on defence and if he can do the job and the Canadiens win a few games, Bergevin has bought some time and the pressure will be on Subban.

If the Canadiens stumble out of the gate, Subban is the winner and there will be pressure on the Canadiens to get a deal done. It’s one thing for a bunch of younger fans who didn’t pay for their tickets to Friday’s scrimmage at the Bell Centre to chant: “We want P.K.!” It will be another matter if the high rollers who buy season tickets take up Subban’s cause.

There are some guiding principles that both sides should acknowledge when the talks resume.

Subban and veteran agent Don Meehan should realize the player has little bargaining power. It might not be fair, but players coming out of entry-level contracts are usually asked to sign bridge contracts, which are a stepping stone to the big money. That was the path Carey Price and Max Pacioretty had to follow.


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