I think the only benefit to the short season we’re getting this year is the stripping down of training camp. Not from the player’s perspective of course, I’m sure there will be a bunch of little injuries that pop up in the next few days for guys who haven’t been at full game speed yet. But from a fan perspective, and even more so from a blogger’s perspective, this training camp has been almost devoid of the normal feel-good “best shape of my life” stories that we normally need to endure. We didn’t have to suffer through 10 exhibition games where every writer in Montreal psychoanalyzes each player after seeing them in 10 minutes of ice time in meaningless hockey. Camp sorta just happened this year. It was too quick to worry about. It was too quick to have to fill morning papers with meaningless quotes about how each player feels prepared, and ready to go. Bleh. Its all meaningless. But this year – with one single week to get ready, we didn’t have time for any of it. Frankly, I loved it.
Sure, there has been lots of ink spilled on the status of first round selection Alex Galchenyuk. It turns out it looks as though he’ll get 48 games in the NHL rather than the anticipated 5. The Canadiens made roster cuts today sending most of the Hamilton Bulldogs back to the NHL keeping only Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, and Mike Blunden. It is far too early to know how all of this will play out, and the option remains to send Galchenyuk back to Junior after his 5 game stint with Montreal, but from the sounds of things it seems as though at this point he has a job in the NHL. Although I do think taking it slow with Galchenyuk is the best course of action, the fan in me is definitely pleased.
Still, none of this matters to the Canadiens as much as the contract that has yet to be signed by PK Subban. I wrote very early on in the summer that there was nothing to worry about, and that PK’s case was exactly similar to Drew Doughty’s and Carey Price’s. Now things get tense. I would say that Habs fans at this point are well within reason to worry about PK playing on Saturday night. I still think this will get done and that PK will be signed long-term, but for the first time since the end of last season, I am a little worry about how long its taken to bash out a deal. I understand that this negotiation is difficult because of the factors at play in determining PK’s value. You really can make a case for PK being worth anywhere between $3 and $6M per season – and that is why the hold-out continues.