BOSTON -- Montreal Canadiens rookie P.K. Subban made a lot of fans with his play during the season and the playoffs.
Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is not one of them.
Thomas took one last shot at Subban -- who sent Game 7 into overtime Wednesday when he beat Thomas on the power play late in the game -- on Boston radio station WEEI Thursday.
Thomas said he doesn't respect the way Subban plays. Subban went down easy (think of those old Nestea commercials with the guy falling backward into a swimming pool) against Bruins forward Gregory Campbell at one point in Game 7, trying to draw a penalty.
"I have respect for the Montreal Canadiens team and the way they played that series and the way that they battled, but to be completely honest, I don't have respect for actions like that," Thomas said.
"That's a travesty to the game. That's not the way the way the game is supposed to be played. When I saw that happen in the first period, when he threw himself back on Campbell, it can be infuriating.
"If anything, it seems the refs let him get away with more, which I'm very surprised at. He's making the refs look not good on a regular basis. He has got enough talent, and he's a good enough player that there's no need for stuff like that."
The Bruins went on to win 4-3 in overtime in Game 7 to advance to the second round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Subban made his share of enemies around the league this season, but he also established himself as an up-and-coming star. Along with goaltender Carey Price, they are the building blocks of the future for the Habs. It has been a while since the Canadiens organization had players with potential like that pair.
That said, Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier faces a challenge building a team around them. The club has 16 potential free agents this summer.
Restricted free agents are: Forwards Andrei Kostitsyn, Benoit Pouliot, Max Pacioretty, Ryan White, David Desharnais and Tom Pyatt; defencemen Josh Gorges, Yannick Weber and Alexandre Picard.
Unrestricted free agents: Forwards Jeff Halpern and Mathieu Darche; defencemen Andrei Markov, Roman Hamrlik, Hal Gill, James Wisniewski, Brent Sopel and Paul Mara.
Markov is an interesting case. He is a front-line defenceman, but what is he worth after a pair of reconstructive knee surgeries, the last of which cost him most of the 2010-11 season?
At this point, the Habs have nine players under contract for next season at a cost of $34 million. The restricted free agents will sort themselves out.
Bringing Gill back should be a priority for Gauthier. The big veteran is a great influence on Subban both on and off the ice.
HEAR AND THERE: Subban said he received an invitation to play for Canada at the world championship but made it sound like he could not go because he was told to rest "bumps and bruises" from the playoffs ... Pacioretty revealed he had been given the green light to play if the Habs had advanced to the second round. He suffered a fractured vertebra when he was hit into a stanchion at the Bell Centre by Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara last month.