Normally, I’m not one who cares to dig into the personal lives of athletes often. What happens on the ice is open to criticism and what happens off the ice isn’t really fair game — unless the off-ice activity affects the on-ice performance. In the case of NHL defenseman P.K. Subban, it’s a bit more difficult to tell where recent news about his personal life falls.
Lindsey Vonn and P.K. Subban took to social media on Tuesday and announced that they have ended their year-plus engagement. Both used Instagram to inform fans of their split and shared similar messages of love and respect for one another, but both announced they have decided to move forward separately. For Subban, the news comes right before the start of what needs to be a bounce back NHL season.
Perhaps the split doesn’t affect Subban’s ability to play hockey in 2020-21. But, as such a public persona and one that shares an incredible amount of detail about his personal life with the world, few players give an inside look at the success and struggles of their journey like Subban does.
And, recently, Subban has seen his share of struggles.
Subban Was Not Good In 2019-20
The defenseman is coming off a year in which his production dropped immensely. He was moved to the New Jersey Devils a couple of summers ago in what was supposed to be a big pick up for the team. He struggled, the team struggled and there were offseason rumors of him being traded.
The problem as far as moving him out went, this was an offensive defenseman who scored 18 points in 68 games and is being paid $9 million per season for two more seasons. Few teams would have been willing to take on that contract, even if the Devils would have been happy to move it or retain some salary in the deal. As such, it is incredibly important that Subban hits the ice in 2020-21 and puts last year behind him. Not only for himself, but for the Devils.
Can Subban Put It All Behind Him?
To say this season might be a challenge is an understatement. While dealing with the Vonn break up, Subban has to put this past campaign to the side and focus on getting back to the player he once was. He may never reach the heights he once did, but he’s not old (31). He should have lots of hockey left.
With a 56-game season on the horizon, he’s got only a short window in which to turn things around and re-establish himself as the d-man who previously won the Norris Trophy. Maybe this split gives him the motivation he needs?
Perhaps a focus on hockey is good for him. He’s been criticized in the past for being perhaps too “out there” when it comes to his own brand. If the Vonn break up steers him towards a better focus on the ice, it could be good for his hockey career.
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