Sports Illustrated has finally put online last month's cover story on Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban, written by Michael Farber. If you're a hockey fan, you'll want to read it. And if not, read it anyway—Subban is one of the best, most exciting, and most marketable young players hockey has to offer, and if the NHL were smart, you wouldn't be able to escape his face.
The story's best anecdote comes from 2010, and Subban's very first (and second) career NHL games. He apparently treated the league like prison, and decided he had to pick a fight with the biggest guy inside.
In his first NHL game, a 3—2 loss in Philadelphia in February '10, Subban challenged towering Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, perhaps the nastiest player of his generation, during a scrum at the end of the third period. "He's got one guy in one hand and one guy in another," Subban says. "I come right in the middle, grab him and say, 'Let him go, let him go.' And he didn't say anything. I say, 'I'm not scared of you.' He says, 'God, your breath stinks. Can you get out of here?' "
Subban takes a swig of sparkling water and continues the story. "Next night we're playing them in Montreal. The puck gets rimmed out of the zone on a power play, and I'm in front of the Philly bench. I stop just before the red line, getting ready to rim it back around after our forwards tag up. As I'm winding up I look over, and the player coming out of the [penalty] box is Pronger. All I see coming over my shoulder is orange. He's coming to kill me. So I follow through with my shot and as I recoil, I kinda duck down over my right shoulder and slip out of a check as he starts to throw it. He trips over my back leg and falls into the boards face-first. As I'm backing away, I see [Flyers wing] Ian Laperrière, and he's got a funny face, like, Oh, my God. And I'm laughing and Pronger's yelling, 'You bailed! You bailed!' If you can believe, the words out of my mouth were 'Suck it, Prongs.' "
Update: Just today, someone uploaded the video.
Subban was sent back to Hamilton the next day, but was called back up for the playoffs. For obvious reasons, the Habs couldn't keep him down for long.
You Can't Stay Angry At P.K. Subban [Sports Illustrated]