You know, I thought I had gotten over the fact that the Montreal Canadiens shipped P.K. Subban to Nashville after mistaking his vivacious personality for an attitude issue. Maybe that's because we are so far removed from the trade, or maybe it's because the player they got in return has had a stellar year in helping to lead them back to the top of the Atlantic Division. Whatever the case may be, I was starting to get used to seeing what was once the face of the most accomplished franchise in hockey in a sweater that was more fitting of his charismatic disposition.
That is, until last night. The reaction that P.K. Subban got after being moved in exchange for someone that is basically just an older, less exciting version of himself wasn't the type of reaction you generally see from the fanbase of a team that was "forced" to give up their best player for potentially/eventually less than he was worth. Athletes that come back to the city they were dismissed from for being perceived as a locker room problem aren't supposed to end up receiving resounding chants of their first name. That scene evoked the type of emotion - from both parties - that you would expect to see from a retirement ceremony in honor of an athlete that played his entire career with one organization. Shit, even my skin started to tingle while watching it and I have no reason to be effected by the level of nostalgia that Canadiens fans clearly were.
That's partially because hockey fans in Montreal are inherently a louder, more interactive bunch, but it's also because there is still so much reciprocated love between P.K. Subban and the franchise whose reasons for ending the relationship have always seemed to be something less than legitimate. Hell, that highlight package - containing so many memories from on and off the ice - was such a tear-jerking reminder of the good times that it makes you wonder how there could have possibly been enough bad times to justify a divorce. I guess it doesn't really matter because the split has worked out well for everyone thus far, but after listening to the proudest of home fans make their own building damn near rattle on behalf of the presence of someone in a visitor's jersey I have no choice but to say that - as far as those on the outside of the closed doors are concerned - P.K. Subban has won this breakup regardless of the current standings.