MONTREAL (CBC) _ Defenseman P.K. Subban made an immediate impact in his return to the Montreal Canadiens line-up this weekend after a lengthy contract squabble. Not only did he have a pair of assists in wins over Buffalo and Ottawa, he also organized the team's Super Bowl party on Sunday night.
But not everyone was in a partying mood.
Don Cherry and P.J. Stock of Hockey Night in Canada, and Sportsnet's Doug MacLean separately criticized Subban for what has been described as an irreverent and unconventional gathering of friends to watch a football game. The commentators slammed Subban's choices of food, decor and hospitality as self-centered and harmful to team chemistry.
"The Super Bowl party was a wrong, wrong, wrong... and not the way it was supposed to be," Cherry told co-host Ron MacLean during a Coach's Corner production meeting. "I told these guys when they were in junior - you just can't do silly things at a team Super Bowl party. You're supposed to watch the game as a team, eat chicken wings as a team, drink beer as a team and have a pool as a team and that's it.
"This guy Subban, I don't know who he thinks he is. But if he doesn't change his brash, me-first attitude and stop that crazy stuff, no one's ever going to go to his Super Bowl parties any more."
Sources that attended the party say the menu included caviar and crackers rather than salsa and tortilla chips. The ubiquitous chicken wings were replaced by a light and tender roast pheasant with pomegranates prepared by chef Mario Batali. And instead of a traditional chili, Subban served a hearty bison cassoulet with great white beans and chorizo.
Rather than simply cracking open a few cases of beer, Subban sprung for a personal sommelier to pour and pair wines with the food of the evening. Stock called this move "big league-ing" and speculated that it could hurt Subban's standing with his teammates.
"I've heard a few guys in the league saying that P.K. needs to watch out because they don't like this kinda stuff," Stock said while interrupting co-analyst Kevin Weekes during their Hot Stove segment. "He's putting himself ahead of the team. He needs to keep his head down, serve some LaBatts and pretzels and keep his mouth shut. That's how a Super Bowl party is built."
Meanwhile, during a discussion at Sportsnet with co-analyst Nick Kypreos, MacLean simply shook his head and said that if he was still a general manager, he would have traded Subban by now. "I don't need that kind of player on my team," said MacLean.
Reports from the party also said that Subban bought a new 60" high definition television as well as new furniture for his teammates to watch the game on. For Cherry, these actions were the last straw.
"And don't get me started on the TV and the chairs," Cherry said. "Now you're just showing off. And, hey! You kids out there, listen up. I'm telling ya - nobody likes a show-off!"
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien recently barred Subban from performing a signature post-win celebration with goalie Carey Price. It is unclear if Subban had cleared his menu with Therrien before throwing his Super Bowl party.
Sources within the Canadiens, speaking under condition of anonymity, say that Therrien is already planning to put the kibosh on a Subban's proposed Valentine's Day flower and candy exchange.
This is a parody. I'm sure Subban's Super Bowl party was awesome. Update: Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette reports (for real) that the Habs' Super Bowl party was actually at Josh Gorges' house.