SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
BASN PRESENTS THE LIBERATION OF P.K. SUBBAN
THE LIBERATION OF P.K. SUBBAN
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor – in – Chief
PHILADELPHIA (BASN) With the completion of the World Hockey Cup coming down to a surprising Canada vs. Europe final, The National Hockey League will throw down soon after – and one of their most enigmatic stars will be shining in a new quadrant of the NHL galaxy…
Pernell Karl Subban (P.K.) is, in my humble opinion, the best overall defenseman in the NHL.
Now a member of the Nashville Predators, Subban has never scored more than 15 goals in his professional career since being brought up to the Montreal Canadiens in 2009, yet he has a set of offensive tools which would make Paul Coffey nod in approval. The player Montreal traded head up for, defenseman Shea Weber, is among those possessing the hardest slap shot in the League; but I seriously doubt anyone wants to be privy to being in a shooting lane when Subban winds up from the point on a power play!
He can ‘stay at home’ and check with the best, jump into odd-man offensive situations with a sniper’s efficiency from distance or out deke a net minder in full stride from any angle, and can bring the puck up out of his own end as easy as pouring gravy on a poutine - so why would Montreal ever trade such a talent?
Well when you say ‘everyone is trade bait at one time or another’ – it definitely applies (ask Edmonton Oilers’ management after Wayne Gretzky), Subban had ensconced himself as an integral part of the Montreal community by his play, his work in the community, and – wait for it – his color.
If PK were White, he would be spoken of lovingly by the League as one of La Belle Province’s jewels. An idiot sportscaster’s Freudian slip (someone I had the misfortune to meet while covering sports in Canada, one James Duthie) in admonishing Subban to “play the White way, er…right way” is at the heart of this matter. Subban’s shot from the point when Montreal was on their power play would have been lauded synonymously with the ‘cannonading blasts’ Guy Lafleur would unleash which brought the Forum crowds to their feet…
Not that PK wasn’t loved by the fans, mind you; Subban plays with a swagger Black players aren’t supposed to have, especially in hockey. If Subban were a baseball player, he would be Rickey Henderson or Cool Papa Bell – cocky, crafty, intelligent, determined – and at his best under pressure. The Negro League that flava reveals itself when he scores a goal is the type of thing which rankles the old farts in the press box. The level of resentment smells like week – old unwashed sweat socks – and the kicker is, Subban isn’t the kinda cat that goes into post – goal histrionics when his club is down by multiple goals and is seeking a ‘look at me’ moment. His head is always in the game and instead of these actions being translated as his ‘love for the game’ if he were White, it’s described by many as showing off or ‘poking the Bear’ – because they don’t like his color and his personae.
The trade to Nashville also presents an intriguing irony regarding Subban’s move to Souf’ of the Border. Back in 1978, one Tony McKegney was selected by the Birmingham Bulls of the World Hockey Association (WHA) with the intent he would be one of their franchise players; but that notion came to a screeching halt after the team’s owner, John Bassett reneged on the deal. While McKegney went on to have a great career in the NHL as Goal Brother Number One (along with Grant Fuhr), the racist responses Bassett received from fans annoyed at the prospect of a Black Star representing their hockey franchise took ignorance to a then – new level of STOOPID!
This attitude remains prevalent among League officials not only in the NHL but Hockey Canada as well. Subban, to many of them seems to be a hot potato – by their own prejudices, his talent can’t be ignored, but the desire to utilize it can. Although he helped win a gold medal for Canada in the last Winter Olympics, he was the Invisible Man during the competition. His Type A personality to many isn’t ‘Canadian’ – without even realizing Subban’s humility – comes to the surface in his charitable works.
Donating 10 million Cdn to charities involving children and hospitals over a seven year period gave some the impression Subban was trying to buy the vaunted captain’s C for the bleu blanc et rouge - and it was pure bullshit; but being captain of The Flying Frenchmen is akin to being centerfielder for the New York Yankees – whether some
chose to accept the high profile glamour aspects that go along with the responsibility of dealing with on-ice matters and running interference as the official spokesperson for the players…
American racism is not as subtle as that served North of the Border; but Subban, unlike McKegney, is being welcomed with the intent to not just save the franchise, but to lead it.
Which brings us back to Subban’s game; he has a high I.Q. for the sport, while being a showman. Weber’s a great player, but Subban, love or hate him (you should hear how they react to him in Philly every time he touches the puck!) is a player you cannot take your eyes off of. As the NHL is being used for the springboard to pry open the Las Vegas vaults o’ cash, it’s paramount they have as many must-see teams/players on rosters as possible – and it can’t hurt that Subban is a distinctly stylish cat in everything he does – no more will his initials stand for ‘personality kill!’
The young man knows who he is – and isn’t afraid to show it – what the fuck could ever be wrong with that?
As the great Jarome Iginla continues his Cup Quest, the Number One storyline for many in the League will be whether PK Subban can turn out the Durrty Mid-Souf’ – and hit some harmonious chords for the fans of Music City.
to be continued…
Next Time: The Popsicle Brothers return with their Goal Brothers’ Report Card – and our 2016 Season Preview!
always outnumbered…never outgunned.
Copyright (C) Michael – Louis Ingram 2016 All rights reserved.