Subban an Intriguing Pick
The Boston Bruins surprised some of their faithful last Friday with the selection of Belleville Bulls (OHL) goaltender Malcolm Subban with the 24th pick in the NHL Draft. Even though 23 players went before Subban, his selection may be the most intriguing of any in the draft for a few reasons.
The Bruins did not seem to be a team in need of a goaltender, but this is clearly a move for way down the line. The Bruins now, in theory, could be set at goalie for years to come if Subban can live up to his potential. The Tuukka Rask era looks to be beginning between the pipes in Boston this season with Tim Thomas stepping away for the year, and now down the line, the 18-year-old Subban could thrust himself into the mix as well.
Rask himself is just 25-years-old, so to say he could be the primary goaltender in Boston for ten plus years without a problem is not a stretch. If Subban develops well over the next few years, that could leave the Bruins with another great 1-2 punch similar to the one they showcased with Thomas and Rask the past few seasons.
What many of you reading this may find more interesting though is the name Subban, it sounds familiar for a reason. Malcolm is the brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, one of the most hated players among Bruin fans. The great thing about this story line is that with P.K. being only 23-years-old, there is a chance of Subban vs. Subban, Bruins/Canadiens games sometime in the future. The hype for that first game would be perhaps higher than any showdown between the rivals in years.
As mentioned, P.K. is a hated player in Boston, maybe the most hated player in Boston. There are feelings by some that there is a contingent of prejudice fans that dislike him even more because he is a black player, feelings that seem to have been confirmed with the disgusting behavior towards Washington Capitals’ forward Joel Ward this past April. After Ward eliminated the Bruins with an overtime goal in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, some fans jumped onto Twitter to call Ward, of Barbadian decent, every racist slur in the book.
Perhaps the drafting of a black player that these fans can call their own will remind them that that kind of behavior is unacceptable. These people need to remember that the Boston Bruins were the first team in league history to have a black player hit the ice when Willie O’Ree skated out on January 18, 1958. Just maybe, Subban’s presence at the TD Garden in the future will remind those certain fans that this franchise has been supportive of non-white players in the past, now they need to be too.