It was some show at the Rock on Thursday, as superstar defenseman P.K. Subban was finally introduced as a member of the New Jersey Devils. The 10-year veteran was acquired from the Predators on June 22nd.
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In front of a packed Prudential Center crowd, with coach John Hynes and owner Josh Harris in tow, Subban was presented with a “Ric Flair style robe” that had his signature number ’76’ on the back. To top it off, it was donned with his nickname “Subbanator” as a nameplate. Subban even joined in on the fun and did a “Ric Flair strut”, accompanied by some dancing and “Wooing” like the former wrestling superstar.
Subban spent the last three season with the Predators where he notched 35 goals and 95 assists in 211 games. Prior to his stint in Nashville where he went to the Cup Final in 2017, he spent the first seven years of his career with the Canadians. He won the Norris Trophy with Montreal during the 2012-13 season as the league’s best defenseman.
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The Devils come into the year with lofty goals after they stumbled to a 31-41-10 record and eighth-place finish in the Metropolitan Division last year. The addition of Subban along with the drafting of Jack Hughes has brought expectations of a playoff berth in New Jersey. Something that has happened just once since their 2011-12 Cup Final run.
The addition of Subban should immediately help a power play that finished 21st in the league by converting just 17 percent of their opportunities. Their overall goal output was even worse as they scored just 219 goals the entire year. Good for 26th in the league. Subban and Hughes should have a positive impact in that department.
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Subban himself said that he is eager to get started.
“I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a training camp,” said Subban in his opening press conference with the New Jersey media.
“The one thing I was excited about coming to New Jersey was the system they play with because it’s about winning. It’s not about how you win or how it looks. I’m 30 years old and want to win a Stanley Cup. I haven’t won one yet. I’ve been to a Stanley Cup Final and have a ton of games in the playoffs, so I have that experience, and that’s great, but I want a ring.”
Subban further endeared himself to the crowd and received a huge ovation when threw a jab at the hated cross-town rival New York Rangers.
“People mention New York a lot, but I don’t play for New York, I play for Jersey.”
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