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PODCAST: Subban Finds Balance and Drive On and Off the Ice

Whether it's his play on the ice, his foundation or his production company, Subban gives everything of himself

by Sam Kasan @SamiKasan /

 Devils defenseman P.K. Subban knows how the modern world works, and even more so, the modern media. 

Subban, who appeared on this week's Speak of the Devil Podcast along with team general manager Tom Fitzgerald, is a social media savvy entrepreneur with his own production company and a growing list of charitable organizations under his belt, including the P.K. Subban Foundation and Blueline Buddies

And balancing all his projects, as well as his day (and night) job of playing hockey takes a whole lot of help. 

"You have to have a good team, a really good team," he said. "I have a really good personal team. The majority of my team is women. They know what they're doing. My foundation team is pretty much all women as well. And they do a fantastic job for me. They allow me to just prepare for hockey." 

On the ice, Subban continues to be a veteran presence on the Devils blue line. The Toronto native, who has 11-plus season in the NHL, has done his part to help nurture and teach New Jersey's youthful roster. 

"This year I've gotten a real enjoyment out of the age difference between me and my teammates," he said. "And how much I can provide. That's probably the biggest excitement for me every day coming to the rink, how I can impact my teammates again today in a better way."

But when Subban leaves the rink, he still has a full schedule. He'll check in with his personal team, give final approval on decisions and generally steer the direction he wants for his projects, whether it's regarding his foundation, his other charity programs, his production company or any other endeavors on his plate. 

"That's my life," he shrugged. "Some people after the rink go back home and play videogames and do different things. For me, I'm on business calls and taking meetings and building up my production company, I'm doing work for my foundation. So that's my life. That's what I do with my time."

The former Norris Trophy-winning blueliner also knows that his flashy style goes against the culture in some sports, and in hockey in particular, which often unjustly believes players should focus solely on the game. 

"The culture in sports is you usually see athletes just focus on what they're doing on the ice," Subban said. "That's fine, but we have a life, too. There's 24 hours in a day. Everybody wants to hold us accountable for how we use our time. But we don't get to hold anybody accountable for how they use their time."

Part of the erroneous perception of Subban is fueled by the media's portrayal of him, though he understands that in today's social media world it is a common occurrence for misconceptions to exist and persist. 

"There are a lot of people that are misunderstood. You could say that everybody is misunderstood if you read the media," Subban said. "If you read and listen to the media, how many people that write things actually know the people that they're talking about?

"I obviously don't focus on trying to please everyone. You can't please everyone in this world. For me, I don't pay attention to that. I look at myself in the mirror and I'm happy with the person that I see. I continue to try to be better at my job every day in the ways that I can be."

And being able to ignore the noise takes a certain level of being grounded and self-introspection.

"It's important to know yourself. It's important to be accountable to your responsibilities," Subban said. "As a player that's a veteran player on the team, that's highly paid, are you doing the things that the organization is asking you to do to be accountable to what we're paying you to do. And I do those things. As long as I continue to do that stuff, I'll be fine. And as long as I continue to have my team, I'll be fine." 

That self-evaluation and self-improvement is prevalent in all aspects of Subban's life. 

"I just want to come in and be myself," he said. "You can only be yourself and try to do the best that you can both on and off the ice. That's one thing you get from me every day. Regardless of what's going on, I give everything that I have. I try my best to be the best hockey player that I can be, the best teammate, best son, best brother. I try to be that way every day. I'll just continue to do that."

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