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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dream of P.K. Subban jumping from Canadiens to Bruins denied

George Scione

Whatever Walt Disney is selling, I’m not buying. Never have, never will.

Wishing on a star has a different meaning than originally thought, I guess. ...

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Whatever Walt Disney is selling, I’m not buying. Never have, never will.

Wishing on a star has a different meaning than originally thought, I guess.

Children of all ages have hopes and dreams denied every day. Add one more victim to that list.

When the Montreal Canadiens and P.K. Subban negotiated an eight-year, $72 million deal that locked up the 2013 Norris Trophy winner through 2022, one dream was most definitely dashed.

Wanting to see Subban creating offense and taking over a playoff series on Boston Garden ice while donning a Black and Gold jersey with a spoked B just isn’t going to happen. Ever. That’s why we don’t live in fantasy world.

Bippity-boppity-boo for sure. Especially the boo part.

It’s OK. Zdeno Chara is still manning the blue line - and for four more years at that. Of course last season’s playoffs suggest four more years of Chara may not be four full years.

The pinky injury he suffered in Game 3 of the second-round playoff series against the Canadiens appears to have started a crack in The Great Wall of Chara. He was crumbling before our very eyes during those seven games. No, it wasn’t a pinky that took his legs away. Instead of flopping and diving, Montreal players were able to skate by him.

While Chara was putting up four points (two goals, two assists) in 12 games during the 2013-14 playoffs, Subban recorded 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 17 postseason contests. Half of Subban’s playoff points came during the Canadiens’ elimination of the Bruins. He set the tone early with two of his four series’ goals in Game 1 – including the double-overtime winner.

Chara? He had two points on two assists. Montreal owned him. Subban, aside from a water-bottle shower from Shawn Thornton, owned Boston.

Then again, perhaps that was Thornton’s version of a celebratory Gatorade shower. Subban deserved it. He punked everyone in Black and Gold – management, players and fans. He thrived under pressure.

That’s what the Bruins need more of. They need less of Chara.

The remaining four years of his contract – $7 million in 2014-15 and ’15-16, $5 million in ’16-17 and $4 million in ’17-18 – seem like a reasonable price for the veteran.

Still, if Subban – and his $9 million per year salary over the next eight years – were offered straight up in a deal for Chara, I’d trade faster than a shooting star.

Yes, even though his $9 million salary-cap hit is the highest of any defenseman and the third-highest of any player in the NHL for next season with only Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin ahead of him.

Let’s see, the choice is a rising 25-year-old star or a fading 37-year-old supernova. I’ll take the younger guy with a higher ceiling.

The only advantage Chara has over Subban at this point is his size. Still, I’ll take the 6-foot, 220-pound native of Toronto over the 6-9, 255-pound Slovakian any day and twice on playoff days.

It appeared for a while heading into last weekend that arbitration wasn’t going well for Subban and the Canadiens. There was a possibility that by next summer the blue line beast would be a restricted free agent. Even at 26, he’d look so good in a Bruins jersey.

Alas, that fantasy was left for the pages of a Disney fairy tale. In reality Bruins fans are resting their hopes on an aging veteran whose skills are on the decline, while the Canadiens and Subban once again sticks it to Boston off the ice, too.

George Scione can be reached at 594-6520 or gscione@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Scione on Twitter (@Telegraph_BigG).