P.K. Subban said his one regret about his time with the Montreal Canadiens is not fulfilling his promise to win the Stanley Cup.
The 29-year-old defenseman, who was traded to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Shea Weber on June 29, 2016, said Montreal would win a championship after he was selected with the No. 43 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft.
“What I’m upset about and at the time, what I was upset about was that I made a promise to the city, when I was drafted, to bring a Stanley Cup back, and never once did I remove myself from that statement or back away from it,” Subban said Thursday at his fundraising gala in Montreal, continuing the pledge he made in 2015 to raise $10 million for Montreal Children’s Hospital.
In his seven seasons with the Canadiens (2009-16), Montreal reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs five times and reached the Eastern Conference Final twice (2010, 2014).
“We wanted to win a Stanley Cup, and I felt that the frustrating thing was I felt that we had the right core to do that and it just seemed that we never were able to put the best team on the ice to get it done and it just never happened for us,” Subban said. “Montreal is a great place to win if you can win here and I felt that I wanted to do that.”
The Canadiens have won the most Stanley Cup titles in NHL history with 24, but none since 1993.
Subban had 278 points (63 goals, 215 assists) in 434 regular-season games and 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists) in 55 playoff games with the Canadiens. He twice was named to the NHL First All-Star Team (2012-13, 2014-15) and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 2012-13.
“I just know what it was like when I was here and the teams that we had, and there were great players on those teams and maybe we had a chance to do something,” Subban said. “But the reality is I’m not there anymore. So I’m just going to try to make the best of the situation and I’ll be back every summer to help the kids and the hospital, to fulfill my commitment and more.”
Subban had an NHL career-high 16 goals in 2017-18, one season after helping the Predators reach their first Cup Final in 2017, when they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
“I got put in a really good position with an amazing city that I love so much, amazing teammates, and I would never trade any one of them for anyone,” Subban said. “They’re great guys. I believe we have a chance to win there and bring the first Stanley Cup back to Nashville and that’s where my confidence lies.”