There have been many criticisms, complaints, laments, and sighs about P.K. Subban’s time with the New Jersey Devils on the ice. There has been nothing but praise and appreciation for Subban’s time with the Devils off the ice. Subban has always been in the public eye - at least relative to most hockey players, that is - and has always pushed to do more than just play in the best league in the world. Subban has used his platform, his role on the team, and his clear passion for philantrophy in his time with the New Jersey Devils. As a result of that, Subban has made franchise history this evening. The NHL announced this evening that P.K. Subban is the winner of the King Clancy Trophy for this season.
Subban is the first Devil to win the Clancy, which is awarded to “player or players who best exemplify leadership qualities on and off the ice and have made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in their community.” That requirement would absolutely fit Subban to a ‘T.’ Per the announcement on the Devils’ website, here is a short list of what Subban has done in 2021-22 for the benefit of society:
- The continuation of his Blueline Buddies program, which he started in Nashville to connect kids and local law enforcement with the goal of building trust between communities. Subban has expanded this program to include healthcare workers since the pandemic began. This season, RWJBaranabas Health joined the program as a partner.
- The P.K. Subban Foundation gifted a million dollars to Le SPOT in March, which is the new mental health clinic at the Montreal Children’s Hospital - whom he pledged $10 million to back in 2015.
- Matching donations up to $100,000 with the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation for Ukrainian cancer patients who have been forced to move due to the war Russia is waging on Ukraine.
- Being named to the co-chair of the Player Inclusion Committee under the league’s Executive Inclusion Council, which includes NHL owners, former players, and various executives.
- Collaborating with the Devils on the team’s Black History Month warmup jersey, which is in the headline photo to this post. An auction of said jerseys benefitted the Devils Youth Foundation and P.K. Subban Foundation, raising nearly $20,000.
- Continuing to use his social media platform to support his own and Devils’ charity efforts, which included food assistance programs and underserved communities in Newark.
For any player, this is quite a bit work and worthy of honor. For Subban, it seems, well, normal. Because it speaks to who Subban is as a person. This is not new to him. Some of the efforts have been continued for multiple seasons and teams. The P.K. Subban Foundation has been very active since its inception. Even being a finalist for the King Clancy Trophy is not new to him. He was a finalist three other times, including his past two seasons with the Devils. Subban knows that pro hockey has given him a lot; he has chosen to take that and give back to countless people. Clearly, this was a long time coming and I am pleased to see that his off-ice contributions has been honored by the league.
Whatever you may think about Subban’s time playing for the Devils and the value he brought to the ice is whatever you may think. What cannot be debated is the value that Subban brought off the ice, which has been significant from season to season. May more in the league follow Subban’s example; the world will be just a little bit better for it.
Congratulations to Subban for winning the King Clancy Trophy; the first ever New Jersey Devil to earn that prize.