Habs' Subban oozes personality

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and P.K. Subban skate on the ice during their team practice...

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and P.K. Subban skate on the ice during their team practice at McMahon Stadium. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

CALGARY - Montreal Canadiens rookie P.K. Subban doesnt shy away from the spotlight.

But heading into the Heritage Classic, the flamboyant freshman isnt looking to steal any more of it for any reason than his on-ice play.

He wasnt wearing any fancy headgear for his first outdoor practice as an NHLer Saturday.

Im not gonna try a set of earmuffs because I think thatll just draw too much attention to myself and Ill probably be on TV for something, Subban said. Ill try and blend in as much as I can.

Blending in isnt easy to do for such an exuberant personality.

Hes drawn criticism for his obvious confidence, and minor incidents in the Canadiens locker-room have been torqued to portray him in a poor light.

Some compare him to former Flames blue-chipper Dion Phaneuf, whose ego couldnt be contained by his teammates in Calgary and ultimately led to his trade.

But Subbans teammates love the 21-year-olds enthusiasm and do what they can to keep reminding him theres plenty to learn, even though hes playing a much bigger role than most rookies.

In terms of my playing time and the way Ive been used, I havent been used like a first-year guy. I cant sit here and say Im playing rookie minutes. Im not sure how many play 28, 29 minutes on some occasions, Subban said, lacking no confidence.

For me, its also remembering that I have to learn every day, and come to the rink continuing to learn and never get ahead of myself.

Their attitudes may seem similar, but Subbans personality is much more outgoing and entertaining than the scowling Phaneuf.

When former Flames winger Michael Cammalleri called Subban Prime Time earlier this year, he didnt mean it negatively, the way some did when calling Phaneuf Neon Dion.

I did it once and I guess his father wasnt too happy with me. Sorry, Mr. Subban, for calling him that, Cammalleri said. I guess it stuck.

P.K., hes not outlandish in what hes saying or anything. Hes a humble kid that way.

I love the kid. I meant it in a way that hes got that charisma to him you see it in the way he plays and you see it in his personality. And he backs it up. I respect that about him.

I think hes a tremendous hockey player.


Videos

Photos