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Unofficial Montreal fan club 'very proud' of P.K. Subban

Group of friends have been gathering watching current Predators defenseman's games since 2012

by Cristina Ledra @cledra / NHL.com Staff Writer

P.K. Subban may have changed teams, but the only thing that's changed with a group of die-hard fans from Montreal are the jerseys they wear when they get together to watch their favorite player.

Think of them as an unofficial fan club. They're a group of friends that has gotten together to watch Subban since he started playing for their beloved Montreal Canadiens five years ago. The core of the group is around 10 people but as word has spread about their ritual, especially during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the number has swelled to nearly 30 on some occasions.

Most members of the group are of West Indian descent and found a hero in Subban, whose father Karl is from Jamaica and mother Maria is from Montserrat.

When Subban played in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time, the group watched Game 1 from Chez Subban, a Montreal bar typically known as Chez Serge before a recent name change and a mural outside to honor the Predators' run.

"P.K. has impacted Montreal in the past five years," Ryan Weekes said. "He's become an icon in Montreal for a lot of the black people and young athletes and young hockey players; they all look up to him for not only what he does on the ice but off the ice. And for us being black people who have watched the sport for so many years, seeing someone of his nature come into the sport and being such a great athlete, philanthropist, everything in general, it's something we're very proud of."

When Subban was traded to the Nashville Predators on June 29, they were disappointed, but continued to cheer for him and the Canadiens.

"We thought, we love our Canadiens, but P.K. is the man who we want to support and when he went to Nashville, our whole crew, all of our friends, we said, 'OK we're all getting Nashville jerseys,'" Weekes said.

Weekes is one of two hockey players in the group. When his adult league's new season started, he showed up wearing not his "Bleu, Blanc et Rouge," modeled after Subban, but a new gold, navy and white getup to match the defenseman's uniform change.

The crowd at Chez Subban for Game 1 was packed and very much a pro-Predators bunch. This group of fans still managed to stand out with their array of Subban jerseys and shirts.

"We're hoping for the best for him," Weekes said. "He's always going to be a Canadien in our hearts even though he's in Nashville and the P.K. crew is going to keep supporting him and following him wherever he goes."

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