After 45 weeks of training, Devils’ P.K. Subban is ‘excited’ for potential mid-January NHL start

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins
Nov 22, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (76) stretches during warm ups against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After nine months of training and no games, New Jersey Devils star defenseman P.K. Subban is eager to get back on the ice, whenever that may be.

When asked his thoughts on the National Hockey League’s rumored Jan. 13 start, Subban said “I’m excited about it, I’m excited to get back playing,” while attending a Red Bull virtual holiday party with Olympic gold medalist skier and fiancée Lindsey Vonn, celebrating the energy drink’s Winter Edition Arctic Berry Tuesday Night.

“I think that earlier on I had a different mindset with this whole COVID thing and it was rattling so many people and their businesses and their lives, it’s just very difficult,” he said. “There’s other things more important than just going out and playing hockey but at the end of the day that’s what I do, so I’m excited to get back out on the ice and play.”

The blueliner also reflected on his 32nd birthday approaching in May, saying “you only have so many opportunities to win a Stanley Cup so I’m excited to get another crack at it.”

Vonn also interjected, saying that her husband-to-be has been “training for 45 weeks straight” since lockdown began.

“I don’t have a 12-pack yet, I don’t get it,” Subban joked.

The three-time All-Star and 2013 Norris Trophy winner — awarded to the NHL’s best defenseman — will try to turn things around for the Devils after a disappointing first season with the club. 

COVID-19 shutdown aside, the Devils were the worst team in the Metropolitan Division, which led to the firing of John Hynes early in the campaign. Subban was not exempt from those struggles in New Jersey, posting a career-low 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) and a career-worst minus-21 rating. 

Now with Lindy Ruff at the helm, the Devils will attempt to turn things around in a stacked Metropolitan Division that will look somewhat different this season. As the NHL hammers out its return-to-play plan for a 56-game season, the pandemic is forcing the league to realign its division for 2021. 

All seven Canadian teams will play exclusively in their own division with the border closed while the remaining 24 US-based teams will be broken up into three divisions of eight teams. As it stands, the Devils will be with the New York Islanders and Rangers, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, and Pittsburgh Penguins.

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