P.K. Subban is quite easily considered one of the most elite defensemen in the NHL. This is apparent by how much the Predators have improved as a team since acquiring him in arguably one of the biggest hockey trades of this decade. He is beloved by the fans of Nashville and brings an eccentric element to the team that has never been seen since their arrival in 1998.
Subban's skill is recognized throughout the league and it is one of the main factors behind why so many fans are extremely fascinated by him. One cannot help but admire his unorthodox style of play and high energy because it exactly what makes him succeed the way that he has since playing for the Canadiens. His accomplishments as a player also cannot be ignored, due to the fact that he helped Team Canada win a gold medal in 2014, as well as won the Norris Trophy as the league's best defensemen in 2013.
Although he is an extremely talented player who continuously is a candidate for awards each season he plays, he does receive a lot of animosity from not just other NHLers, but also specific fanbases and even commentators. Subban has been known to get under the skin of opponents because he is a player who expresses his emotions quite vividly every time he is on and off the ice. He embraces and displays his love for the game in a way that is very different than most in the NHL. This is what causes people to hate him, even though it is not necessarily justified.
Nonetheless, here is a list of fifteen people who hate P.K. Subban.
16 Mike Milbury
Everyone who watches hockey knows that Mike Milbury is very direct and is not afraid to speak his mind. Although in theory that seems alright, he tends to use this character trait in a negative way. He often attacks players irrationally without using much substance to support his claims. This is exactly what we saw when he abruptly evaluated Subban earlier in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After dancing during warmups before a game versus the Blues, Subban was called a clown by Milbury because he believed that Subban was not displaying professionalism. Hockey fans all around the world thought this comment was over the top and completely unnecessary. It is fair to say that Subban was just extremely excited to play because it was the playoffs and something that he missed out on the year before. It was hypocritical for Milbury to insult Subban because when he played for the Bruins, he jumped into the stands and beat a Ranger fan up with his own shoe. To me, that seems more like a clown move than dancing.
15 Sidney Crosby
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs progressed, Sidney Crosby's hatred for Subban is clearly grew. After Game 3, Subban told reporters that Crosby told him that his breath stinks. This in return started Subban's Listerine gag, which has been a growing topic throughout the series. Although this is humorous, it was clear that it rubbed Crosby the wrong way because when asked about, he defensively stated that he never said it and seemed agitated.
This anger became more present during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals when Subban and Crosby got into an altercation behind the Penguins' net. After losing his stick, Subban grabbed Crosby, which led to Crosby throwing him to the ice. From there, Crosby proceeded to bounce Subban's head on the ice numerous times. This surprisingly did not lead to an actual fight between the two, but the animosity between the two of them is clearly going to continue to grow until there is a Stanley Cup winner.
14 Evgeni Malkin
The Stanley Cup Finals evidently creates many new rivalries between players. It is quite intriguing that Subban has found a way to make two superstars despise him. During Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Evgeni Malkin and Subban surprisingly fought after a whistle. Before this occurred, Malkin gave a quick shove to Predators' defenseman Mattias Ekholm, which sparked Subban to confront him. Right away, Malkin threw a quick jab to Subban's face and from there, the fight began.
This is definitely an interesting occurrence because hockey fans know that Malkin is not a player who tends to fight. It is clear that Subban's aggressive presence immensely agitated Malkin and led for him to partake in this act. Some players simply cannot stand Subban as a player because he is not afraid to play physically and is extremely vocal on the ice. It is apparent that after this fight, Malkin is one of many players that do not appreciate these elements of Subban's game.
13 John Scott
Last year's NHL All Star MVP, John Scott, had some very harsh words to say about P.K. Subban when asked about him in an ESPN E:60 Special. In the documentary, Scott when on to say, "I don't like him. I think on the ice he's a piece of garbage. He's perceived as like a hot shot. This guy who thinks he's better than everybody." It is clear that as a player, Scott not only hated the way that he played, but found his personality to be very arrogant.
When responding to those comments, Scott went on to say that the interview occurred two years before and that he did not want to negatively impact Subban's success in the playoffs. He later went on to say that the interview happened at a time when he was angry at Subban, but stands by his comments at that time. He hated Subban as a competitor, but began to like him far more off the ice when they were teammates. However, Scott is just one of many who could not stand Subban when playing against him.
12 Marc Bergevin
During his tenure in Montreal, Subban often faced a lot of criticism for his style of play by his former general manager, Marc Bergevin. It was clear that Bergevin recognized Subban's talent, but he did not like the way that he presented himself throughout the league. On countless occasions, Bergevin criticized Subban's defensive ability and overall lack of leadership. With this, Bergevin never fully trusted Subban as a player, no matter how much skill he possessed.
What is most strange about Subban's time in Montreal is that Bergevin was adamant in stating that he had no plans of trading Subban. In numerous interviews, he stated that Subban would be a Canadien for a long time. However, last summer, he was quick to trading him for Shea Weber, an aging superstar with a less than ideal contract. After this, Begervin said he made the trade because he felt Weber give them a better chance to win the Stanley Cup, due to his blue collar style of play and leadership skills. Nonetheless, Bergevin simply felt that Subban did not fit the culture of the Canadiens.
11 Michel Therrien
Subban also faced a lot of criticism when it came to his head coach in Montreal. Michel Therrien is a very hard nosed coach who often calls out his players when he feels that they are underachieving. Yet when it came to Subban, especially during his last season there, he became Therrien's scapegoat for many of the team's issues. When Carey Price got injured during the 2015-16 NHL season, the team's play dropped dramatically and they fell out of playoff contention fairly quickly. With this, Subban's play weakened a bit as well.
Therrien blamed a lot of the team's struggles on Subban because he felt that his defensive play was lackluster at best. With this, Subban's playtime began to decrease and he was often neglected in big situations for the team. In many post game interviews, Therrien openly criticized Subban's play and went as far as blaming him for a loss. Without any doubt, Subban's morale dropped as the season progressed not only due to his individual and team performances, but also the way he was treated by management such as Therrien.
9 Mark Stone
During the 2015 playoffs, the Canadiens faced Mark Stone and the Senators. This was a very interesting series because the Senators were not a team who was expected to make the playoffs, but did due to an amazing run at the end of the season. It also was fascinating because it led to a battle between two Canadian rivals. In Game 1, tempers naturally began to rise and Subban found himself in another incident. Subban got a major penalty for slashing Stone on the wrist and was thrown out of the game.
Following the play, Stone skated off the ice in what appeared to be severe pain. Following the game, it was announced that Stone had a microfracture on his wrist and ligament damage. This obviously created a great deal of animosity between the two clubs for the remainder of the series because Stone was and still is one of their best and young players. It is easy for one to believe that Stone himself was extremely angry at Subban because the slash was intentional and completely unwarranted.
8 Mark Borowiecki
Anyone who watches the Senators knows that Mark Borowiecki is one of the toughest and most aggressive players in the NHL. He never shys away from physical play, even when it is not necessarily needed. At the beginning of the 2014-15 season, Borowiecki made his presence known to the NHL when he dropped the gloves with Subban. Yet during this fight, Borowiecki ragdolled Subban through the majority of it until Subban got loose and started throwing some punches of his own.
As the fight began to appear to be over and the linesman came into separate them, Subban threw an unexpected jab at Borowiecki. This infuriated Borowiecki and led him to start throwing more punches at Subban. In this situation, there is an unsaid rule that punches should never be thrown when the linesman is in the way. Yet, Subban broke it very easily and that is the main reason why Borowiecki cannot stand Subban as a player.
7 Shawn Thornton
Although retired now, Shawn Thornton absolutely hated Subban during his days as a Boston Bruin. He always found ways to get on the nerves of Subban and openly discussed how he dislikes the way Subban plays. He even called out Subban for throwing a dangerous hit on him that led to a lower body injury for Thornton. This is one of many examples that sparked Thornton to squirt water at Subban during the 2014 playoffs between the Bruins and Canadiens.
One can blame team rivalry for Thornton's actions toward Subban, but it should addressed that he simply could not stand Subban as a player. When a player is consistently going after someone every time he plays against them, it is clear that animosity is present. Thornton was an enforcer so he obviously loved to fight and cause mayhem on the ice, but he also had a tendency to make Subban his primary target every game he faced him. That is where one can acknowledge that Thornton had more hatred toward Subban.
6 Vincent Trocheck
Earlier this season, Subban found himself a new foe in Panthers' centerman Vincent Trocheck. This is a bit of a surprising pick because Trocheck is another who very rarely is recognized for his physical play. Nonetheless, he actually held his own very well when he fought Subban and arguably even won the fight. Before the fight occurred, Subban gave a late hit to Trocheck and then kept crosschecking him until Trocheck quickly dropped the gloves and started throwing punches.
This occurrence is definitely one where Subban started it, thus it I saw fair to say that Trocheck has lost respect for Subban as a player. For a player like Trocheck to fight that quickly, it is clear that Subban was at fault for what happened. This is just one of many examples where Subban's persistent agitation caused a player to completely change character. The aggression that Trocheck showed was a rarity and must have been extremely exciting for Panthers fans to experience.
5 Brandon Dubinsky
Brandon Dubinsky is a similar player to Subban in that he often annoys the people who plays against as well. Yet when it comes to Subban, he was actually the victim in the beginning of their rivalry. Back in 2011, Subban threw an incredibly dangerous slewfoot on Dubinsky that led to an awkward fall. It became a big topic around the league and was the centerpiece reason that many fans began to see Subban as a dirty player.
Although the animosity between the two players has seemed to lower as the years have passed, it is clear that Dubinsky was extremely angry over what happened. Although Dubinsky is fine today, that type of hit is very dangerous and could have led to far worse of an injury. Luckily Dubinsky is still able to play in the NHL, but it is fair to say that he will never forget that hit and will always have a little bit of hatred toward Subban as a player.
4 Lawson Crouse
Former first round pick Lawson Crouse also fought Subban this year and held his own fairly well. Crouse is a power forward who definitely thrives in the physical side of the game so this one should not come as much of a surprise. Before the fight occurred, Crouse threw a big hit on Predators' forward Viktor Arvidsson and Subban skated over right to him. From there, the spirited fight began.
This fight was definitely justified, but it did happen in a quick fashion and at the end of the first period. Normally fights that occur late have far more of a purpose and stay in the minds of all players involved. Although Subban showed leadership in this fight, it is fair to believe that Crouse will remember it for quite some time and may be eager to have a rematch sometime in the future.
3 Tomas Plekanec
Subban's eccentric playing style even angered some of his former teammates in Montreal. However, none is more prevalent than the incident with Tomas Plekanec. During a team practice, Subban and Plekanec got into a scrap following a team drill. This was very shocking to many Canadiens fans because Plekanec is known as a finesse player who very rarely involves himself in the physical side of hockey. Yet, it was very evident that Subban's high energy angered the centerman and made him change his entire persona for just one practice.
Any time two players fight during a practice, there are a lot of questions that loom afterwards. Normally, it is a warning sign that everything in the locker room is not well. In this specific case, it is a bit strange that a player like Plekanec would not only get into a fight, but actually start it. With that, it should come to the mind of many fans that Plekanec was one of the many players who simply does not like a Subban's style of play, even if they were teammates.
2 Darren Pang
Darren Pang openly criticized Subban's on and off the ice personality while commentating for TSN. While speaking about Subban, he openly stated that he should play in a more conservative manner, such as Blues' defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo. He said the way that Subban acts on the ice is incorrect and is the reason why a lot of players dislike him. Commentators are normally expected to have a neutral stance on players personally, but Pang went against this.
Pang clearly was not a fan of Subban at the beginning of his career and it is a safe bet that this is still the case today. Subban's personality has only seemed to grow as the years have passed, especially with his continued success on the ice. Personally, I believe that Pang's comments were a bit too biased on Subban and clearly demonstrated that he dislikes him as a player. He simply could not admire Subban's skill because of the way he presents himself.
1 Every Penguins Fan
It is quite common for fans to hate the opposing team's superstar when focusing on the Stanley Cup Finals. Yet, when it comes to Subban in Pittsburgh, their hatred is at an all time high. Through the series thus far, Subban has relentlessly agitated both of the Penguins' best players, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Also, after a whistle, Subban skated toward the bench and cursed at the fans of Pittsburgh. This is more than enough to make Subban enemy number one.
Subban is a player that a lot of people despise because of the way he plays and acts. He's the typical player you love to have, but hate to play against. When it comes to Pittsburgh, it is easy to see why they despise him to the degree that they do. He is the main player that stands between them reaching their second straight Stanley Cup. The lack of respect he has shown toward them and their players is enough for them to hate him to the degree that they do. However, this is the playoffs so Subban's type of behavior is to be expected. It is what makes him succeed at the level he does and what makes Nashville fans love him.