NHL Notes: Habs' P.K. Subban downplays benching

Montreal Canadiens' P.K. Subban talks to teammates during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers at...

Montreal Canadiens' P.K. Subban talks to teammates during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on January 8, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:14 PM ET

Defending Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban understands why he was benched for much of the third period in Wednesday's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Well, that's what his coach says, anyway.

"I had a conversation with P.K. this morning," Michel Therrien said on the team's website. "He was OK with the decision that we took. He seemed good with it. In the past, when something like this happened, we reacted the same way. We have to be honest with everyone.

"When you're not honest, that's when you get yourself in trouble. When you're honest, you can walk with your head held high and look everyone in the eyes."

Therrien, who says his relationship with Subban is "great," wasn't happy that the defenceman took a needless roughing penalty in the third and sat him for a 10-minute stretch.

Subban, though, tried to play down the benching with the "he's the coach" line.

"At the end of the day he has to make decisions that are in the best interest of the team," Subban said. "We're running a team here. It's not P.K.'s team. It's not Carey Price's team. It's the Montreal Canadiens and everybody has to fall under the same rules, so that's what it is."

The Habs are trying to get Subban, a soon-to-be restricted free agent and one of the most polarizing players in the NHL, signed to a long-term contract. It's believed the 24-year-old will ask for $8-9 million a season.

RINNE GETTING CLOSER

There is still no timetable for his return but Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is inching closer towards a return.

Rinne, who has been out since Oct. 22 after developing a bacterial infection in his surgically-repaired hip, has been "cleared to begin weight-bearing exercises" under medical supervision, the Preds said Friday.

"We are encouraged and pleased to report that Pekka is moving on to the next stage in his recovery and rehabilitation," the team said. "There is no timetable for this stage as that will be evaluated by Dr. (Thomas) Byrd and our medical team on a daily basis. Our primary objective is to insure Pekka's full recovery and return to the ice by taking every possible precaution throughout the process."

Rinne was sidelined just nine games into the season due to the infection, which was a result of the surgery he had in the summer. It was originally thought he d be out a month but the seriousness of the infection has kept him out much longer and cost him a spot on the Finnish Olympic team.

COMEAU OUT 4-6 WEEKS

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Blake Comeau has been put on injured reserve and will miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL in his knee.

Comeau was hurt when he got collided with teammate Jack Johnson in practice Thursday. He hadn't missed a game this year before getting hurt, recording three goals and eight assists.

Comeau joins teammates Jared Boll, Marian Gaborik and Jack Skille on IR.

BRIEFLY

New Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray told Sportsnet that coach Ted Nolan will have the interim tag removed from his title in the near future. The Sabres have gone 8-11-4 under Nolan, who replaced Ron Rolston in mid-November ... The Anaheim Ducks called up goalie John Gibson from Norfolk of the AHL and sent down Frederik Anderson. Gibson, who backstopped the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2013 world junior championship, is 11-9-3 with Norfolk this season ... Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton is eligible to return Saturday in San Jose after serving his 15-game suspension for jumping Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik last month. "It wasn't the norm for me, and I'll try not to ever do that," Thornton told the Boston Herald ... The Philadelphia Flyers called up forward Tye McGinn to replace injured Zac Rinaldo, who went on IR this week due to a high ankle sprain. McGinn has three goals in six games with the Flyers this season ... The Predators sent forward Filip Forsberg, the MVP at the 2014 world junior championship, to Milwaukee of the AHL. Forsberg has played 12 games with the Preds this season, and another seven with Milwaukee ... With uncertainty surrounding the availability of forward Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm for Saturday's game in Los Angeles, the Detroit Red Wings called up forward Riley Sheahan from Grand Rapids of the AHL.


WATCH: SUBBAN TALKS BENCHING IN THIS NHLPA VIDEO


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