Defenseman P.K. Subban will be playing for the Nashville Predators this season, but the defenseman's bond with the city he called his NHL home for seven seasons remains unbreakable.
Subban's time with the Montreal Canadiens ended June 29 when he was traded to the Predators for defenseman Shea Weber. He returned to Montreal for his first television appearance since the trade, and in a two-part interview with Sportsnet, Subban reflected on his time with the Canadiens, his love for the city and his feelings on the trade.
"The feeling being back in Montreal, it will never change," Subban said. "Montreal's going to be home because of the relationships that I've built here. I love Montreal. I've always loved the city. And when it really comes down to it I never envisioned myself playing for any other team other than the Montreal Canadiens.
"But the reality is that today is Boxing Day and Christmas is over, so you just got to kind of move on, right? That's kind of the approach I'm taking to this."
Video: Reaction to the Subban/Weber trade
Subban had 63 goals and 278 points in 434 games with the Canadiens and won the Norris Trophy in 2013 as the NHL's top defenseman. He helped the Canadiens reach the Eastern Conference Final twice (2010, 2014), but they failed to get out of the third round. The Canadiens did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season.
"It was a dream come true for me to play with the Montreal Canadiens, and the sad thing is that my promise to the city of bringing a Stanley Cup back and wanting to win one, I won't be able to fulfill that promise," Subban said.
Subban said he was not surprised he was traded, even though he felt he did everything he could to prevent it.
"This is a business," he said. "We can't forget that. I've always looked at it that way, that I could very well be traded like anybody else on the team. I just tried to work as hard as I could on the ice to not make that happen."
Subban, perhaps the most popular player on the Canadiens during his time in Montreal, said he wishes there were times teammates got as much attention and credit he did.
"My mentality is I've never been the guy that always has to be the center of attention or has to be the front guy," he said. "I have no problem doing my job and somebody else getting the credit, or the attention being on somebody else. There were times where I probably wish there was more attention on my teammates but I can't help what the media decides to do to write their stories. All I can do is go out there, play the game as hard as I can and take care of what I can control."
Video: E.J. Hradek breaks down Subban for Weber trade
Subban pledged a $10 million donation to Montreal Children's Hospital before the 2015-16 season, a commitment the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation said he will continue to honor. Subban said in a video posted on Twitter following the trade that he would be involved with the hospital.
"I'm probably luckier than every player in the National Hockey League," Subban said. "The connection I have with the fan base and the community here, it's unspeakable really. That's why I'm able to maintain the relationship with the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec, because they've treated me so well and my family so well since I've been here, and I've tried to do the same, in a lot of different ways."