P.K. Subban was Sports Illustrated's cover athlete about a month ago, and the feature story hit the interwebs this afternoon. The article contains some great anecdotes from the Canadiens' fun defenseman, but none are better than the story of how he took on Chris Pronger as a rookie and won.
Yes, you read that right. Not only did Subban challenge one of the meanest players in NHL history as a rookie, he did so in his second career game! We challenge you to try to dislike Subban after reading this story. It's not possible.
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.' "
That is one heck of an entrance to the NHL and one heck of an incredulous look on Pronger's face.
(H/T to Eyes On The Prize for the find)