He may not have predicted his trade to the Devils, but P.K. Subban was apparently feeling the New Jersey vibe long before the Predators sent him packing.
Back on June 10, Subban made a guest appearance on ESPN’s First Take, and since the Toronto Raptors were right in the middle of a championship run, it didn’t take long for the Raps to come up in the conversation.
Just like millions of his fellow Canadians, Subban was deeply invested in Toronto’s run to the Larry O.B. He marvelled at Kawhi Leonard on the show, raving about the Finals MVP’s two-way game and how his teammates fed off of his play.
The Raptors’ playoff performance — dominant on both offence and defence — had reminded Subban of an organization that excelled at both ends of the game and had won multiple championships: The New Jersey Devils.
Nearly two weeks later, the Predators announced they had shipped Subban off the New Jersey in exchange for Steven Santini, Jeremy Davies and two second-round picks.
P.K. the prophet?
“I was dead serious,” Subban said about comparing the Raptors to the Devils in the video above. “It is kind of funny now that I end up playing for the Devils, but anybody that knows sports, if you’re really a student of sports then you would understand some of the greatest teams in every sport in those time periods. And I specifically remember that time period (late 90s-early 2000s).
“The one thing that I was excited about coming to New Jersey is the system that they play with, because it’s about winning. It’s not about how you win or how it looks. It’s about winning, and I want to win. I’m 30 years old now, and I want to win a Stanley Cup. I haven’t won one yet. I’ve been to a Stanley Cup Final so I have that experience. I’ve got a ton of games in the playoffs, which is great, but I want a ring. I want multiple ones, and this is an organization that knows how to win.
“I believe that with Hynesy’s (John Hynes, Devils head coach) systems and the systems that the New Jersey Devils have had over the years that they know how to win as well. And I expressed that (to Hynes), because I really believe that the Toronto Raptors won because of their ability to play as a team. Yes, they did have ultimately one of the greatest players in the game, but if you look at his style of play, it wasn’t just on the offensive side, it was on the defensive side, too. And it complimented his whole team and his teammates.
“So, coming into this team — not to compare myself to Kawhi Leonard or anything like that — but I want to come in and be a part of a system. Be a part of something special and find a way to win. And that’s it. I mean, my goal is to win here in New Jersey.”
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