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Kovalev doesn't understand why Subban is worth $72M: 'He plays like he did on streets as a child'

Greg M. Cooper / USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens fans were largely overjoyed when Norris Trophy-winning defenseman P.K. Subban agreed to an eight-year, $72-million contract extension earlier this month, but at least one former NHL player isn't convinced the price is right.

Alexei Kovalev, who suited up for the Canadiens from 2003-09, says Subban is a quality player but, in his opinion, one with obvious defensive deficiencies. 

"He's a good player, but he remains a dangerous defender," Kovalev told RDS (via Google Translate). "[You] can get five goals, but allow five so the score would be equal. I always compare it to Brian Leetch because he also wants to play a more attacking style. [He] does not always take the right decisions and plays just like he did on the streets as a child.

"He won the Norris Trophy so it may be a reason why he was awarded this contract," Kovalev continued. "But with regard to his game, I do not understand why he gets so much money."

What's interesting here is that while Kovalev recorded 430 goals and 599 assists in 1316 NHL games, he wasn't exactly known for giving his full effort shift-in and shift-out.

Kovalev added that he doesn't see Subban as a good fit for the team's vacant captaincy, citing Max Pacioretty as a more ideal candidate.

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