As the stalemate over P.K. Subban's second NHL contract continues - the team is said to want short term for modest dollars, Subban is said to want long term for big dollars, no one is sure what the proposals actually are - rumours are picking up steam that the Montreal Canadiens are considering dealing the 23-year-old.

Is GM Marc Bergevin really going to go there?

He has said publicly he will not, and this isn't a guy known for telling nose-stretchers.

But circumstances do change.

Subban is a generational talent, and is in very exclusive company among NHL defencemen when you consider his dynamic offensive skills, elite defensive and special teams abilities and the fact he logged more minutes against top players than all but a dozen rearguards in the league last season. (If you want a statistical argument that buttresses the preceding, the guys at habseyesontheprize.com got their math geek on here).

As Subban told the Montreal Gazette in a wide-ranging interview, he wants to be paid what he's worth and isn't seeking to 'break the bank'; talking to the papers wouldn't have held him in good stead under the previous management, it will be interesting to see how Bergevin reacts. But even if Subban has a high opinion of his worth, it's hard to argue his value isn't far higher than that of 23-year-old peers like, say, Luke Schenn, whose cap hit is $3.6-million - although Schenn made his NHL debut a year sooner and had the good fortune of signing under the old CBA.