By Karine Hains aka Pheebs888

It’s spring again and to us hockey fans, this means only one thing: the Stanley Cup Playoffs! Like every year, the excitement levels are running high and each die hard hockey fan is rooting for their team with a passion. For me, that team is the Montreal Canadiens. They started the playoffs as huge underdogs but somehow (mainly using Jaroslav Halak) they managed to dispatch the mighty Washington Capitals and send them golfing. Now in the second round, the Habs are attempting to do the same thing with Sidney Crosby and his skillful Penguins. Of course it won’t be easy but if the first round taught us anything, it’s that anything is possible and that there is a new big shot in town…No not Jaroslav Halak, most Habs fans already knew he was heck of a goalie after this season, I’m talking about PK Subban who after a season in the American Hockey League and a first round series with the Hamilton Bulldogs was recalled by the Habs for game 6 of the first round against Washington.

Subban was recalled after Jaroslav Spacek fell ill in round one. Montreal needed some new blood on the blue line and after he dominated the first round in the AHL it was decided that he should be given a chance on the biggest stage of them all: the NHL playoffs. And it was more than just the playoffs, it was game 6 of round 1, a do or die affair in Montreal which is known as somewhat of a pressure cooker. The youngster played admirably as soon as he stepped on the ice, showing calm and composure as if he were a 5 year veteran. In fact in 4 games so far, this offensive minded defenseman managed to get 3 points. There is more to the story than what the stats show as well though, in the first game against the Pens, he was on the ice for all of the Canadiens’ goal. He scored one and was the key to the other 2 being scored.

What does this all mean for the hobby? Well, more than likely, next season Subban will be on the Montreal Canadiens regular roster and get ready for some big time hobby love. Normally, defensemen are far from being the darlings of the hobby but we’re talking here about a young defenseman in hockey mad Montreal. As much as the Montreal crowd can be harsh with its players when they do not perform, they still know how to dish out the love too. Come October 2010, look out for PK Subban’s Young Guns rookie card to be one of the most sought after card of the season and same will go for the usual SPx rookie autographed jersey. If you want to get a head start collecting Subban before the prices rocket too high, well now is the time to get yourself on eBay and look for those In The Game autographs.

Personally, I got my head start last September when the Hamilton Bulldogs travelled across the ocean to take part in the Gardiner Cup in Edinburgh, Scotland. This four team tournament featured the Dogs, the Toronto Marlies, the Belfast Giants and the Edinburgh Capitals. Throughout that weekend, I was very much impressed by the young Subban’s performance and I decided to chase his autograph as I really though he had potential. 8 months later, I’m incredibly happy I did! Subban was very nice when I met him, he agreed to sign my souvenir T-Shirt of the tournament as well as my Bulldogs jersey which I have had framed as my Christmas present, one of my best decisions to date.

However far the Canadiens go in the playoffs, I’m looking forward to seeing Subban play and impress us all with his skills for he truly is the next big thing in Montreal. Get ready to chase his cards fellow collectors!