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Subban tunes out trade talk

Canadiens defenseman dismisses rumors, says 'I love Montreal'

by Shawn P. Roarke @SRoarke_NHL / Director of Editorial

LAS VEGAS -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban is aware of the conversations raging about the Canadiens and their fortunes as well as about Subban and his future.

Subban, though, chooses not to listen. He is too busy with his charity projects and preparing for the 2016-17 season.

"I'm never concerned to be honest with you," Subban said Tuesday, the day before the 2016 NHL Awards (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, Sportsnet), where he is a finalist for the NHL Foundation Player Award, given to the player who applies the core values of hockey to enrich the lives of people in his community. "I have a lot of things that I am doing in the offseason and my job is to prepare for the season. That is all I can control. I never get nervous or concerned about rumors or what people say. If I did that, I would be wasting a lot of energy. At the end of the day, I love Montreal, I love the city. I mean there is not much else that I can do but train and enjoy my summer.

"All I can do is play as hard as I can on the ice and do my job. I trust in my ability because of my history and what I have accomplished in the League. I trust in that, I don't trust in what people say or in rumors. At the end of the day, I feel confident in what I have accomplished as a player and I feel confident that I am one of the best defensemen in the League. I don't need anybody to tell me that. I want to do that for the Montreal Canadiens."

Since Montreal missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, the already-considerable noise around the team has intensified. There have even been suggestions that the Canadiens would consider trading Subban.

But Subban shrugs them off. He has heard it all before. Plus, he believes his resume shows he is a positive for the organization and not a player that needs to be moved as the Canadiens try to get back into contention for the Stanley Cup.

"I hear a lot of things," he said with a laugh. "To be completely honest with you, a lot of them I hear in ways that you guys can't even imagine. Like, I'm out for dinner in New York City and someone comes up and says, 'Oh, I hear you might be coming to play for the Rangers.'

"I don't turn on my TV, I don't watch TV, I don't read online, I don't do any of that stuff. …I don't really pay attention to it, to be honest with you. The regular season, I get it; I owe it to everybody. I stand in front of cameras, I will take scrutiny if I have to, I take the praise when I have to, but the offseason belongs to me and nobody else. That's the way I see it."

With that said, Subban knows that the Canadiens have to be better than they were this season.

Yes, he says, a lot went wrong in 2015-16, starting with the injury to goaltender Carey Price that limited the 2014-15 MVP to 12 games this season. Price sustained an MCL injury to his right knee on Nov. 25 and did not play the rest of the season. Montreal used four other goalies, but nothing worked well enough.

But the injury to Price alone can't be used to explain away a season that saw them finish No. 13 in the East with 82 points, 11 points out of third place in the Atlantic Division and 14 points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

"There's no question, if we are going to win a championship, we need [Price] there," said Subban, who had 51 points in 68 games. "But we can't forget that we didn't get enough from everyone else this year. We can talk about Carey, but I don't think we had enough guys that performed well enough for us to make the playoffs. It comes down to that. I don't think we did enough as an organization to make ourselves a playoff team regardless of whether we had Carey Price or not.

"There is no question that if Carey Price comes back we are instantly a better team but if we think that we are just going to walk into next year and make the playoffs because Carey is back, this League is too good. You saw it this year and through the playoffs, it's too good and we need everybody to be better from the top of the organization down."

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