When the Montreal Canadiens shipped star defenceman P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators in June, it came prior to his no-movement clause kicking in ahead of the 2016-17 season. With that, came something that we don’t often see with regards to no-movement clauses – the ability for Nashville to basically rescind the clause.
Here’s how it breaks down.
According to the CBA and General Fanager, “if a player is traded or claimed on waivers prior to the no-trade or no-move clause taking effect, the clause does not bind the acquiring club. An acquiring club may agree to continue to be bound by the no-trade or no-move clause, which agreement shall be evidenced in writing to the player, central registry and the NHLPA.”
Basically, when Subban was traded to Nashville, the team was given the option to uphold the clause within his contract that would kick in starting ahead of the 2016-17 season. They decided that it would not be honoured.
As Sean McIndoe writes, nobody is exactly saddened by the news as he’s still a multi-million dollar player who has the highest cap hit of any defenceman.
“But that doesn’t make this rule any less ridiculous, arbitrary and unfair,” writes McIndoe. “Players negotiate NTCs into their contracts in good faith, in some cases leaving money on the table to get that extra protection. Imagine negotiating a contract with your boss that saw you take less money in exchange for some other consideration that was important to you – better hours, more vacation time, whatever. Then just before your new arrangement starts, you get transferred to another department and they tell you that they won’t honor any of that, but you’re still stuck with your reduced salary.”
That’s basically what’s happening with Subban. While the Predators and David Poile have to honour his term, salary and everything else to do with his contract, they can turn around and trade the 27-year-old without worrying about his negotiated no-movement clause.
In what some considered an off-year, Subban still put up 51 points (6g-45a) in 68 regular season games. That adds to his career totals giving him 278 points (63g-215a) in 434 career games – with 11 goals and 38 points in 55 career playoff games. He also won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman in 2012-13.