By Jaylon Thompson
Across the border lies a city languishing as a mystery. Sitting in the heart of Canada, is the ninth most populous city in North America. This is Montreal.
Montreal was once known worldwide for the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. Now, the city is perceived in the sporting world as an abysmal state of obscurity.
The American sports fan has forgotten about the city entirely. For a ravaging fan base, the years leading up to the Olympics seem like ages ago. Gone are the days when the Montreal Expos roamed the field in Major League Baseball. For many fans, the years of the Montreal Canadians reaching the conference finals and falling short has haunted the city.
It’s been 22 years without a professional title. With every draft pick or free agency signing, fans continue to hold their breath in anticipation. However, a glimmer of light as shone from the end of this opaque tunnel. An unlikely source has become a beacon of hope for the future.
Meet Pernell Karl, (P.K.) Subban. Subban is a six foot, 206 pound athlete from Toronto, Ontario. Known for his intensity and elite skill, Subban is certainly at the top of his game and at the top of the sporting world.
He won the James Norris Memorial Trophy for best defenseman and won Gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics as a part of Team Canada. However, hardly any Americans know about him. That’s because he plays in the National Hockey League. To take it a step further, P.K. is black.
Not many black players are known for playing in the NHL. Very few even catch the eye of the casual fans in the United States. For Subban, he is more than just another black player for a NHL team, he a building block for the Canadiens.
Growing up in Toronto, P.K. is of Jamaican descent. Hockey has always been in his veins and he has been a standout prodigy wherever he has gone.
In the 2012-2013 season, he recorded 38 points while scoring 11 goals on 27 assists. This year, he dominated the regular season and the postseason. He had 53 points and 10 goals and led the team in points during the playoffs. This was enough to earn him the distinction of an upcoming star and he received a $9 million contract.
There are several things about Subban that make him a delight to be around. He constantly contributes to charities and sets an example as a model citizen. One of the charities he supports invited him out to play hockey in Haiti. It’s one of the things he is most proud of.
“It makes you value things,” said Subban. “It gives me a different perspective on life. I’ve never seen a country like that. I’ve never seen a city in that state. Seeing people in that state is definitely going to have an effect on you. It’s had a huge effect on me.”
It seems the light just got brighter for Montreal.