In case you haven’t heard, the Montreal Canadiens traded P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for fellow all-star defenseman Shea Weber. As a playoff bandwagon jumper/regular season casual observer, I don’t consider myself knowledgeable enough in hockey to properly analyse what this means for the team on the ice next season except to say that, on paper, defense star for defense star seems like a fair trade.

Where the logic falls apart, though, is when you look beyond the rink. P.K. Subban has fully entrenched himself in Montreal and has become a local celebrity.

A Total Showman

Subban is quite the performer. From the stylish outfits he wears to games and promotes on his website, he has a signature style off the ice that is hard to mimic. It’s also a style that goes over quite well in Montreal and is well-received coming from him because we are a hockey town.

While most NHL players take the summer off, P. K. was preparing to host a show at this year’s Just for Laughs Festival. He may not be a comedian by trade, but he sure knows how to entertain. Just for Laughs has confirmed that the show is going ahead as planned, so at least there will be one more time people can catch P.K. play Montreal before, you know, he his playing us in a Nashville Predators uniform.

A Charitable Man

While P.K did sign quite the expensive contract, $72 million, he decided to give back to the community. He pledged that his foundation would raise $10 million for the Montreal Children’s Hospital over the next seven years (his JFL show is part of that). In this video, his response to the trade news, he indicates that he will live up to that promise:

The Children’s Hospital, which he also made a surprise visit to during the holidays last year, released a statement through its foundation today saying they were “saddened to learn yesterday that our favourite hockey player had been traded to Nashville. However, we are grateful that P.K. will continue to honour his commitment to our patients and their families.”

One thing is clear. This is a man who set down roots in Montreal, not someone who was planning on leaving anytime soon.

Social Media Revolt

And the Montreal community really doesn’t want him to go, either. While the hockey press lamented this as the worst trade the Habs have made since Patrick Roy and even the worst in Habs history, the reaction on Twitter pretty much says it all. There’s this tweet:

and this one:

and then #fuckingHabs started trending:

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With most of the commentary against the trade, a few Montrealers are now saying that they’re “done with the Habs” at least until the team gets rid of coach Michel Therrien (a dispute between him and Subban is a rumoured reason for the trade) and GM Marc Bergevin.

While tempers may cool as the weather gets colder and the Habs start playing again, it’s clear that damage has been done. Maybe not damage to the team, but most definitely to the team’s image in the eyes of many.

P.K. Subban has already left his mark culturally on Montreal and that won’t soon be forgotten.

The Force is strong with this year’s Just for Laughs lineup.

Sorry, had to use at least one predictable Star Wars pun to deflect from the abundant excitement I’m feeling (and probably many of my fellow Montrealers are feeling as well) after hearing the announcement that Carrie Fisher, yes Princess/General Leia herself, will be performing in Montreal this summer.

While Fisher is best known for her starring role in four Star Wars films and counting, she is no stranger to the stage or comedy. She has a one-woman autobiographical Broadway show called Wishful Drinking under her belt, won an Emmy for her appearance on 30 Rock and is quite the raucous, sarcastic and sometimes hilarious interviewee.

Fisher will host one of the fest’s multi-comic galas, July 31st at 7pm at Place des Arts, while Sarah Silverman will perform her own show in the fest one night only, July 30th, 9:30 pm, at Maison Symphonique in Place Des Arts. Silverman may not be best known for her appearance as Rain Robinson in the Star Trek Voyager two-parter Future’s End, but it does make an interesting sci-fi themed segue.

Silverman is a veteran of the standup circuit as well as the star of Masters of Sex and the animated hit Bob’s Burgers. The avid Bernie Sanders backer is also a force to be reckoned with online, speaking out, sometimes hilariously but always on point for various political causes.

Not known for comedy, but really well known in Montreal nonetheless, Habs Star P.K. Subban will also be part of this year’s JFL lineup. The defenseman, entrepreneur and, from what we can tell, all-around good guy will be hosting a gala August 1st, 7pm at Place des Arts.

What’s different here, aside from that fact that a hockey star is hosting a comedy show, is that this is a charity gala. The P.K. Subban Foundation will be donating proceeds from it to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

That’s not all, though. This year’s Just for Laughs festival promises performances by David Cross (Tobias from Arrested Development and one half of Mr. Show), Louie Anderson, the cast of Veep and more. Meanwhile, OFF-JFL will feature Scott Thompson from The Kids in the Hall and a host of up-and-coming comics that you will surely be hearing about for years to come.

Just for Laughs runs July 13th through August 1st. The full schedule and new additions is/will be available, along with ticket info, at