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Interviewing P.K. Subban at Tim Hortons

Canes head amateur scout recalls his pre-draft interview with Subban

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

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The life of an amateur scout in the National Hockey League is one spent on the road. Sometimes, that means doing your job in odd places.

Case in point: prior to the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Carolina Hurricanes Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald interviewed then-teenage defenseman P.K. Subban at a Tim Hortons in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario.

"His mother drove him to the interview," MacDonald explained. "He came in with a shirt and a tie, all dressed up. His mom dropped him off. We had a great time talking there for half an hour."

The backstory: 10 years ago, the NHL Combine attendees were determined by the top 90 skaters as ranked by the NHL's Central Scouting Service. Subban was ranked outside of that group - in fact, he was the 102nd ranked North American skater - so he did not attend the Combine, where prospects are interviewed by clubs, among other more strenuous activities.

So, Tim Hortons had to do.

Subban was drafted in the second round, 43rd overall, by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. After selecting Brandon Sutter with the 11th overall pick, the Hurricanes would have had the 41st overall selection in the second round, but that pick? That pick was shipped to Pittsburgh in March of 2006 with defenseman Niklas Nordgren and forward Krys Kolanos in exchange for Mark Recchi, who, of course, helped the Hurricanes capture their first Stanley Cup Championship three months later. That 41st pick then traveled from Pittsburgh to San Jose to Washington before landing in Philadelphia. The Flyers selected defenseman Kevin Marshall, who logged 10 games in the NHL in 2011-12.

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