Don’t be surprised if the New Jersey Devils protect PK Subban
Today we’re going to go over the biggest surprises that could come when the New Jersey Devils announce who they’ll protect in the Seattle Kraken Extension Draft. There are some pretty obvious protections for the devils. Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, Miles Wood, Yegor Sharangovich and Pavel Zacha appear to be obvious candidates among forwards. Damon Severson and Jonas Siegenthaler are the candidates most likely to be protected when it comes to defenders. Mackenzie Blackwood will be protected as a goalie.
When you look at defenders, it’s really only Will Butcher and PK Subban when it comes to this position. They have a place to protect and two very fragile candidates. No fan will be devastated by the loss of Subban or Butcher despite the fact that both acquisitions were made with so much fanfare and neither really worked out as hoped.
As for Subban, he seemed to have new life in the Lindy Ruff system. He’s become a power-play threat, and his speed is still better than most defensemen in the league despite losing a step from a career to injury. He certainly wasn’t a detriment to the team like he was in his freshman year in New Jersey.
Subban is under the skin of a lot of Devils fans because he does a lot of things off the ice. He just got a new job with ESPN covering the NHL playoffs. We imagine this gig will continue with ESPN getting hockey coverage next season. Subban will always have his hand elsewhere as he contemplates a career beyond hockey. While most fans aren’t fans of it, the Devils probably love it. Whenever he’s on ESPN, he’s “New Jersey Devils defenseman PK Subban.” So, with the inevitable new fans coming with the ESPN deal, some might immediately turn to the Devils because Subban is playing for them.
Honestly, this is not a bad strategy. The Devils could use more fans from across the country than any team. If the growth of the game means the Devils are taking over new fans, then it’s a win for everyone. Do the Devils want to risk losing this to the Kraken just to get some salary cap space they don’t really need right now?
If the Kraken takes Subban, the salary cap situation gets a little odd for the Devils. That would put the Devils $ 25 million off the cap. Again, it is not the ceiling ceiling, it is the floor ceiling. The Devils should be making moves that don’t really help the team to hit the floor, like trading for injured players.
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Subban could actually be with the Devils beyond his current contract. He won’t earn the $ 9million he earns now, but once negotiations begin at the end of next season, the Devils could decide to keep Subban as their ambassador and a veteran presence would be worth it.