MONTREAL -- Despite the fact P.K. Subban arrived back here with a gold medal and memories that will last a lifetime, the buzz around the Montreal Canadiens defenseman has been why he got into the lineup only once at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, playing a little more than 11 minutes in Canada's 6-0 win against Austria in the preliminary round.
But Subban squashed any ideas he holds bitterness toward Canada coach Mike Babcock, whom Subban and the Canadiens will play at Bell Centre on Wednesday.
"People should be praising Mike Babcock because he just won us a gold medal," Subban said after the morning skate Wednesday. "I got nothing but praise for him, the coaching staff, the management staff and the players that participated. I don't see any negative coming out of this really."
Subban wanted to see more playing time for Canada but made it clear he wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
"You want to play, but it's out of my control," Subban said. "You work hard last year and the first part of this year to give yourself the best opportunity to be a part of it. But I think at the end of the day, I mean listen, I'm walking away from this thing with a gold medal and the reality is that everybody probably deserves to play, but as long as we win I don't care. I don't think anybody in Canada cares. We're just happy we got the win and the gold medal. The feeling of being on that ice and being the winning team is priceless, and nobody can ever take that away from you. Not too many people can experience that, so I'm just happy to be one of them."
Does Subban look at this game or any other future games against Babcock and the Red Wings as a chance to make Babcock regret not using him more?
"I don't think I need to prove anything to anybody," Subban said. "You look at what I've accomplished in this League to this point in my career, and still a very early and very young career. In terms of what I've accomplished, I'm pretty sure I've proven that I'm an elite player and I don't need to do that."
From the sounds of Babcock's comments Wednesday, Subban is correct. The Red Wings coach had high praise for the reigning Norris Trophy winner as a player, teammate and a person.
"I think he's a great kid," Babcock said. "I didn't know him much, but tons of energy and he's going to continue to grow into a great, great pro. To me he was committed to being better. It's always hard as a high-end athlete anytime someone tells you that you can't play. But he was a great teammate and I enjoyed him a lot, and he was a big part of our team."