Sports: Agent: There have been 'expressions of interest' in P.K. Subban

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More than two weeks into free agency, one player who hasn’t received a lot of coverage is veteran defenseman P.K. Subban. The 33-year-old’s eight-year, $72M contract expired earlier this month, allowing him to hit the open market for the first time, but he hasn’t really been linked to teams at this point.

More than two weeks into free agency, defenseman P.K. Subban remains a free agent. © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports More than two weeks into free agency, defenseman P.K. Subban remains a free agent.

However, his agent, Don Meehan of Newport, told Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette that while the rumor mill has been quiet for his client, it hasn’t been for a lack of interest. He, like quite a few other free agents, is waiting for the financial picture for certain teams to get cleared up:

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"P.K. just came back from vacation and I talked to him today about the free-agency marketplace and I’ve indicated to him that we’ve had expressions of interest. I’ve told him that there are teams moving money — assessing what kind of cap space they have, analyzing their depth scenarios to determine just exactly what they can do. Some of these issues are in play as we speak, so I can’t get a definitive response from some teams in terms of moving ahead, but I have had expressions of interest for him to date. But the teams that have expressed interest aren’t in a position to contract now because they’ve got other things in play."

Subban has seen his production dip considerably over the past three seasons compared to his time with Montreal and Nashville and is coming off a 22-point campaign with the Devils in 77 games. Notably, his average playing time dipped under 20 minutes a night for the first time in his career. He averaged 18:18, which put him fifth among New Jersey’s blueliners. That was a drop of more than four minutes a game compared to 2020-21, hardly ideal for someone heading into free agency. A year ago, Subban had a case that he could still be a top-four defender, but it will be harder for his camp to make that argument now.

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Meehan also indicated that Subban is particularly focused on finding the right fit:

"Without sounding too aggressive, I think he’s earned the privilege to be somewhat selective in terms of where he would play so that it works for the team and it works for him. In other words, he doesn’t just want to play anywhere. He has that measure of independence."

While Subban isn’t at the level he was back when he was in his prime as a three-time Norris finalist, he could still help teams in more of a limited role. It also helps that he and Anton Stralman basically represent all that’s left of right-shot defenders who are available on the open market. But with it proving more difficult than before for teams to free up salary-cap space, Subban’s search for the right fit could drag on a little longer yet.

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