Change has been good for two Subbans. Will it be good for a third?
Defenseman Jordan Subban goes from Canucks to Kings.
Defenseman Jordan Subban, who was a Vancouver Canucks, 2013 fourth-round draft pick, was traded to the Los Angeles Kings Friday for forward Nic Dowd.
Jordan, an undersized blue’liner at 5-foot-9, 185-pounds, had spent most of the last three seasons playing for the Utica Comets, the Canuck’s American Hockey League affiliate. He tallied 5 assists in 16 games for the Comets.
He was an offensive dynamo for Utica last season, finishing sixth on the team in scoring with 16 goals and 20 assists in 65 games. He was seventeenth in scoring among all AHL defensemen.
Overall, Subban has totaled 27 goals, 50 assists and 87 penalty minutes in 148 regular season games in the AHL.
Jordan becomes the second Subban brother to relocate in the 2017-18 hockey season. Goaltender Malcolm Subban, a Boston Bruins 2014 first-round draft pick, was snatched up by the Vegas Golden Knights after the Bruins placed him on waivers in October.
Before the move, Malcolm was viewed by some as a player with unfulfilled potential. He appeared in 32 games for the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL farm team, and posted an 11-14-1 record with a 2.41 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
Since his shift to the desert, Malcolm has become an integral part of the feel-good story that is the Golden Knights inaugural season. He’s filled in admirably since after starter Marc-Andre Fleury suffered an injury.
The acrobatic Subban has a 6-2 record in eight games with a 2.27 goals-against average – 10th-best among NHL goalies – and a .923 save percentage.
The NHL rookie netminder faced one his biggest tests Friday night – older brother P.K. Subban and his Nashville Predators. Malcolm made 41 saves and registered a shootout shut out against Nashville in a dramatic 4-3 Golden Knights win.
The contest at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena was the first time the brothers played against each other in an NHL regular season game. Proud papa Karl Subban, was in attendance.
P.K. is the Predators’ sixth-leading scorer with 4 goals and 14 assists in 28 games so far this season. He’s 15th in scoring among NHL defensemen. Weber is 22nd among the league’s blue-liners with 6 goals and 10 assists in 23 games.
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The Montreal Canadiens swapped All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators straight-up for All-Star defenseman Shea Weber.
The move shocked the hockey world, helped guide the Predators to their first StanleyCup Final appearance, and sent Karl Subban scrambling to his computer to write another chapter for his book.
“Yeah, I had to write it,” Karl told me. “It was unbelievable. It was an unbelievable run to the Stanley Cup Final. I’ve never been through that before. It took me a long time to believe that we were there.”
The elder Subban talks about his book, The Trade, the Predators’ Stanley Cup run, racism, and what it’s like raising three very talented hockey players in the first episode of the Color of Hockey podcast.
Our new podcast, like this blog, will tell the story of the history and growing impact of people of color in ice hockey at all levels and all aspects of the game – on the ice, off the ice, behind the bench, in the broadcast booth, and in the front office, wherever.
And what better lead-off guest than Karl, father of Pernell Karl (P.K.); Malcolm, a goaltender and Boston Bruins 2012 first round draft pick who was waived by the B’s this week and claimed by the expansion Vegas Golden Knights; and Jordan, a 2013 VancouverCanucks fourth-round draft pick who’s a defenseman for the Utica Comets, the Canucks’ American Hockey League franchise in Upstate New York.
P.K. tallied 10 goals and 30 assists in 66 games in his first season in Nashville. He had 2 goals and 10 assists in 22 playoff games.
Malcolm compiled an 11-14-5 record in 32 games for the Providence Bruins and posted a 2.41 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. He was winless in the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage.
Jordan notched 16 goals and 20 assists in 65 regular season games last season for Utica. He had 2 goals and an assist in four AHL playoff contests.
Providence Bruins goaltender Malcolm Subban looks to work his way to the NHL (Photo/Alan Sullivan).
True to its title, “How We Did It” gives insight to how Karl and Maria Subban guided their boys through various levels of hockey – from lacing on their first pair of skates skates to hearing their names called at National Hockey League drafts.
“The African proverb, I use it in the book, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,'” Karl told me. “It also takes a village to raise an NHLer…to grow their potential. Maria and I can’t stand there and say ‘Look at us, we did it all by ourselves.'”
At 5-foot-9, defenseman Jordan Subban is out to prove that he belongs with big brother P.K. in the NHL (Photo/Lindsay A. Mogul/Utica Comets).
But the book is also deals with immigration – Karl’s family moved to Canada from Jamaica and Maria’s from Montserrat – education, and the ugly realities of racism, an issue that P.K. first confronted when he was an 8 year old playing minor hockey in Toronto.
It’s a lesson that Karl, a semi-retired Toronto public school principal, was sadden that his son learned so early.
“He came out of the dressing room crying. He said a boy on the ice called him the N-word,” Karl writes in the book. “We said there was no need to cry because it was only a word. We probably said something about ‘sticks and stones.’ There weren’t too many kids playing who looked like P.K., but now someone had communicated it to him in a way he didn’t like.”
He’s endured racist taunts and attitudes as a pro, most notably during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs when so-called Bruins unleasheda torrent of hateful emails and social media posts after he scored two goals, including the double-overtime winner.
When confronted with racist ugliness, Karl says P.K. follows a bit of advice that he gave him: Don’t let them win.
“I’ve told P.K. it’s vital to change the channel, because if you ruminate over it, you can’t free yourself from it,” the elder Subban writes. “It does take practice, though – and P.K. has had a lot of practice.”
Karl had to change the channel when the Canadiens traded P.K.. Montreal was Karl’s team ever since he was a boy growing up in Sudbury, Ontario, watching the Canadiens’ French broadcast on TV, and dreaming of being Habs goaltender Ken Dryden.
As an adult, he thought there was nothing like seeing a game in hockey-mad Montreal. Then came Nashville.
“I didn’t think there was anything better until I got to Nashville, and then I said ‘Wow!'” he told me. “It’s so different and a great experience. It’s the music there, the environment. After the game, the honky tonks, the bars, the food, I love country music. And then we went on that (Stanley Cup) run, and the city, which is alive anyway 24/7, it was taken to another level.”
But Karl still can’t quite get used to what’s becoming a tradition in Nashville: fans tossing catfish onto the BridgestoneArena ice.
“I just want to eat those catfish,” he told me. “There’s a restaurant where I go, they have this catfish thing and I love it. Like, I’m saying ‘please don’t throw them on the ice. Can you just give them to that restaurant I go to and have them prepare it the way they prepare it there.”
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The publication is named The Vancouver Sun but the caption with the photo was hardly enlightening.
Defenseman Jordan Subban, the Vancouver Canucks’ fourth-round draft pick in 2013, scored his first-ever NHL goal in Tuesday night’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks. After scoring the goal, a happy Subban celebrated with his teammates, a moment captured in a photograph published in The Sun’s online edition.
The picture was fine. The caption that accompanied it, not so much. It said: Vancouver Canucks celebrate goal by Jordan Subban (dark guy in the middle) against San Jose Sharks in NHL pre-season game at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. on September 23, 2014.
“Dark guy in the middle.” Really? Glad the cutline cleared up that confusion.
To add some bones to the caption’s obsession with Subban’s flesh: Jordan Subban was the 115th player selected in the 2013 draft. He’s the youngest brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and BostonBruins goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban.
Jordan was a top defenseman last season for the Bellville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. The diminutive 19-year-old notched 12 goals and 30 assists for the Bulls in 65 games. Big brother P.K., who won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 2013, on several occasions has said Jordan is a cerebral blue-liner who can teach him a thing or two about playing defense.
Last night we ran a photo caption that should never have been written, let alone run online. We apologize to @jordansubban. (1/2)
The Sun and Vancouver’s Province newspaper apologized for the insensitive caption, but it’s still the latest racially clumsy episode before the first puck drops on the NHL’s 2014-15 season. First EA Sports inexplicably depicts St. Louis Blues tough guy Ryan Reaves about 15 shades too dark in its NHL video game, now the crazy Subban caption.
Subban took the episode in stride.
“I heard about that,” he told The Province Wednesday. “I had a chance to talk to a representative from the paper and it seemed like a pretty honest mistake. Am I worried about it? No. If people should be talking about something, it should be the way I played last night rather than that. Hopefully, it will just die down.
“It was just unfortunate. I don’t think there were any bad intentions. It is what it is and I’ve moved on and I’m sure everyone else will, too.”
Subban is on his way back to Bellville. The Canucks cut him and three other players and shipped them back to their major junior hockey teams.
Karl Subban remembers the days when he would take his young son, Pernell Karl, ice skating and look around the rink to see if there was anybody else there that looked like them.
“In those days if you saw a black parent or a black person in the arena you would look twice,” he told me recently. “And now you don’t have to look twice anymore, things have changed a lot. Every time I walk into an arena you see minority children and minority parents.”
Things are indeed changing at rinks across North America and around the world, and Karl Subban’s family is a major force helping to facilitate that
P.K. Subban, from skating at age two to millions of dollars as restricted free agent.
change. Young Pernell Karl simply goes by P.K. now and he’s grown into a Norris Trophy-winning, slick-skating superstar defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens.
Brother Malcolm is in the middle, a 2012 Boston Bruins first round draft pick who played his first year of pro hockey last season for the Providence Bruins, Boston’s American Hockey League farm team. Youngest brother Jordan is a defenseman and 2013 Vancouver Canucks fourth-round draft pick, who skated last season for the Ontario Hockey League’s Bellville Bulls – the major junior team that his older brothers played for.
Karl Subban can’t hide a patriarch’s pride that his sons are reaching hockey’s upper echelon. But then, that’s always been the plan.
“We had the dream for these boys to play hockey, not just house league, but at a high level,” the elder Subban said of he and his wife, Maria. “The hardest part is to make it their dream and make them want it more than mom and dad.”
Karl says he reminds P.K, and his brothers that they are “pioneers” who stand on the shoulders of players of color who went before them.
“I look at the work that so many people have done whether it’s Willie O’Ree, or Herb Carnegie and others – Mike Marson, the McKegney brothers, they also paved the way,” he said. “Maybe there was a gap in between. So whether it’s my boys or (Edmonton Oilers prospect Darnell) Nurse, we’re starting to close that gap, especially at the professional level. I say to P.K. ‘You’re a pioneer, you’re an inspiration and hope for so many.’”
Getting three boys to the pro hockey level isn’t an easy task for any family. For Karl, whose family moved to Canada from Jamaica when he was 11, and wife Maria, whose family arrived in the Great White North from the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat, negotiating the sport initially had its challenges.
“Our connection to hockey is as far as the distances we traveled to Canada,” Karl told me. “That’s the way I sort of summarize it.”
Karl was bitten by the hockey bug as a kid. He learned to skate while growing up in Sudbury, Ontario, and enjoyed watching the Sudbury Wolves play. The team had a talented forward on its roster, Marson, who later became the NHL’s second black player when he was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the team’s inaugural 1974-75 season.
Karl went on to play basketball at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., and went into teaching upon graduation. But he still had hockey on his mind. He bought P.K. his first pair of skates when he was 2 1/2. By four, the tyke was playing in a house league. About that time, “Maria and I decided he’s going to skate every day,” Karl told me.
Before they were stars, P.K., right, and Malcolm Subban often skated with dad.
That often called for Karl to take P.K. to the rink late at night after he got home from work from two vice principal jobs in Toronto. It also meant that sometimes Maria would put an exhausted P.K. to bed after midnight still dressed in his snowsuit.
It’s a recipe that Karl followed with Malcolm and Jordan and with daughters, Natassia and Natasha, in their athletic endeavors. You see, Karl Subban is a firm believer in practice. He was “Outliers” author Malcolm Gladwell long before Gladwell wrote that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a task.
With that philosophy, Karl Subban isn’t a fan of Allen Iverson. You could almost feel him shaking his head in disbelief over the phone as he recalled the Philadelphia 76ers star point guard’s infamous 2002 rant after being questioned about his practice habits.
“We’re talking about practice?” Iverson said, repeating the P-word 20 times during the course of his discourse. “I mean listen, we’re sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, but we’re talking about practice? Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last but we’re talking about practice, man.”
Fingernails on a blackboard for Karl, a retired public school principal.
“What a wrong message to give kids who are looking up to him. You don’t get better by playing, you get better by practicing,” he told me. “With my boys…I wouldn’t be as upset if they missed a game, but if they missed an opportunity to skate, or to practice, or to shoot pucks, that didn’t sit well with me, that bothered me a tremendous amount.”
Masked man Malcolm Subban in action with Providence Bruins.
Practice and hard work have paid off for Karl’s boys – and will pay off handsomely for P.K. He scored 10 goals and 43 assists in 82 games for the Canadiens last season, ranking fifth among NHL defensemen. During the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he tallied 5 goals and 9 assists in 17 games, finishing fourth among defensemen in scoring.
As a restricted free agent, P.K.’s 2013-14 exploits – including logging a whopping 33 minutes of ice time in a Game 4 loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final – will likely translate into a long-term deal that exceeds $7 million per-season from Montreal or another team that bids for his services.
“Obviously, everybody wants a long-term deal, in a place where they like to play,” Subban told The Montreal Gazette last month. “But there’s a lot of different things to consider in a contract negotiation. There’s stability for the family. There’s what’s in the best interest of the player and in the best interest of the team, for the organization moving forward.”
“And,” he added, “proper compensation.”
While P.K. waits for an adjustment of digits in his paycheck, Malcolm is adjusting to life as a professional hockey player. In shifting from the OHL to the AHL, Malcolm went from being the main Bull to a back-up Bruin in net. He appeared in 33 games for Providence, won 15 lost 10 and sported a 2.31 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
He played in six Calder Cup Playoffs games for Providence and came away with a 2-2 record and 2.96 goals-against average.
“It was challenging, to be honest,” Malcolm told NHL.com. “When it’s something you’re not used to, like I’m used to playing a lot of games and being the go-to guy, so it was kind of tough being the secondary guy. But I just had to stay focused mentally. I think that was the hardest thing for me mentally, just to stay focused and earn my way. And you know you don’t play as much, so you know when you get a chance to play you’ve got to play well, and that’s what I tried to do.”
Jordan is waiting for his chance to show what he can do as a pro. He recently attended the Canucks’ prospect camp and impressed the team’s brain
Jordan Subban is waiting for his shot at the NHL. (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
trust. He played 66 games for Bellvelle last season, scoring 12 goals and 30 assists.
“Jordan has high-end offensive skill and you can see, when they do the offensive drills, his ability to handle the puck and get his shot through to the net,” Canucks General Manager Jim Benning told The Ottawa Citizen. “He has really good lateral movement and he can also move the puck up the ice either with a good first pass or skating it out of his own end.”
With his three sons busy pursuing their hockey careers, Karl Subban is still busy building the family’s hockey legacy. He takes his 3-year-old grandson – Legacy Bobb , son of Natassia Subban-Bobb – ice skating often. Legacy’s baby twin brothers, Epic and Honor, will get the same quality time with granddad after Santa delivers them ice skates this Christmas.
“We go out, no hockey stick, no games, use what I did with the boys,” he said of his time with Legacy. “I’m on the ice with him, he never cries. It’s funny, I want him to skate but we never talk about skating. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.”
Malcolm Subban moves from Bruins training camp to its AHL farm team’s camp (Photo: Terry Wilson/OHL)
The Boston Bruins cut goaltender Malcolm Subban from its training camp Sunday after he gave up eight goals in a pre-season home loss against the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night and earned the mock cheers of the TD Bank Garden crowd.
Subban, chosen by Boston with 24th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, and three other Bruins prospects were assigned to report to the training camp of the Providence Bruins, Boston’s American Hockey League affiliate in Rhode Island, when it begins next week.
The brother of Norris Trophy-winning defenseman P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks defensive prospect Jordan Subban, was a long shot to make the Bruins’ 2013-14 roster. With Tuukka Rask locked in as the Bruins’ starting goaltender, the only question facing Boston is who will be the Finnish star’s back-up.
Subban’s demotion was sealed after he looked shaky in Boston’s embarrassing 8-2 loss to Detroit in which he played the entire game.
“I thought the fourth goal was one he could have had,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told The Boston Herald. “After that I think it was the fifth and the seventh (that were bad). Although he gave up a bad goal in the second period, we wanted him to battle through it.”
Subban, a former standout goalie for the Ontario Hockey League’s Bellville Bulls, told The Herald after that game that “it seemed like no matter what I did the puck found its way in.
“There were a couple of bad bounces, but I didn’t do my part tonight,” he said.
But Subban didn’t stay downcast for long after his subpar performance. After the game, he was seen running the steps of an empty TD Bank Garden. “I’m looking at it (in) a positive way,” he told The Herald. “It’s probably a good thing. Now I can be more focused and start the game better.”