Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said he has no hard feelings about being left off Team Canada for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
"No, I'm not surprised," Subban told Sportsnet after taking batting practice with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Saturday. "It's a selection process. So, either you get selected or you don't. All you can do is be a model citizen. I'm Canadian so I support my country and I support my team just like everybody else."
Subban was not among the final seven players picked for Team Canada on Friday. The three defensemen added were Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, Jake Muzzin of the Los Angeles Kings and Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues.
"I mean, everybody wants to make the team, right?" Subban said. "And there's a bunch of guys that I'm sure wanted to be on the team. But that's the way it goes. … When I was speaking to [Team Canada general manager] Doug Armstrong, my No. 1 thing was I just want to see Canada win gold. So I'll be there cheering just like everybody else."
The tournament will take place Sept. 17 through Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Subban, who was born in Toronto, was cheered Saturday when he entered the batting cage wearing a No. 76 Blue Jays jersey with "Subbanator" on the back. Wearing a pair of batting gloves belonging to catcher and fellow Canadian Russell Martin, Subban showed he's no threat to steal anyone's job with the Blue Jays. Sportsnet reported the farthest he hit one was beyond the infield dirt, at which point he left the cage.
"As you can see, I was a little rusty today," Subban said. "I never played baseball growing up. But I love the game. It's a fun sport to play. So to be able to do this today, at the SkyDome [former name of Rogers Centre], it's just the pinnacle of being able to play baseball. I love the guys. The best thing about baseball is the guys. The clubhouse is awesome."
Subban's invitation to hit with the Blue Jays came Friday when he and Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista sat together during Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers at Air Canada Centre.
"I was like, 'All right, let's do this, man. I'm ready,'" Subban said. "I don't get much time to do this stuff. I'd much rather be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs right now but we're not. So why not come out and enjoy yourself?
"I'm from Toronto. I've lived here my whole life. But I've never had the chance to come down here and hit some balls and just hang out with the guys. So this was a really cool experience for me."