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Flyers' Richards: Subban needs to earn players' respect

TSN.ca Staff

11/17/2010 6:58:16 PM

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban is earning a reputation around the National Hockey League as not only a skilled player, but one that might be too cocky for his own good.

At least, according to Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards.

Subban, who had an assist in the Canadiens' 3-0 victory over the Flyers on Tuesday night, was also in the midst of most of the late game skirmishes that occurred after Flyers forward Darroll Powe slammed Jeff Halpern's head into the glass with a body check early in the third period.

"He's (Subban) a guy that's come in the league and hasn't earned respect," Richards told the Team 990 radio station after the game. "It's just frustrating to see a young guy like that come in here and so much as think that he's better than a lot of people. You have to earn respect in this league. It takes a lot. You can't just come in here as a rookie and play like that. It's not the way to get respect from other players around the league.

"Hopefully someone on their team addresses it, because, uh, I'm not saying I'm going to do it but something might happen to him of he continues to be that cocky."

And Subban, who has dealt with such remarks over the course of his playing days, was quick to play it down on Wednesday.

"I have lot of respect for the guys in this league and (Richards) is a player who has been around for a while," Subban told reporters on Wednesday. "He's won a (Olympic) gold medal, he's the captain of the Flyers, and he's a player I looked up to when I was still playing in Junior. I just try to play the game as hard as I can. I'm a rookie in this league and I'm just trying to go out there and earn my respect." 

It isn't the first time that the 21-year-old rookie has been called out for his attitude.

Early in October, Subban and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby traded some verbal jabs during a game, which prompted broadcaster Don Cherry to speak out at the time.

"It's good to be cocky when you come in the league," Cherry said. "Really, it's good to be cocky. I like that. But you've got to show a little respect...If he has a big mouth like that, he's gonna get hurt."

Subban responded in kind, saying he wouldn't change the way that he plays.

"I play them tough, I play them hard," Subban told the Toronto Sun last month. "I do everything I can to make sure he doesn't score. If you're intimidated by guys, you're going to get eaten alive.

"You can't be intimidated. I'm going to go out and play it the way I've always played it."

Subban's confidence has also been noticed by his teammates, with forward Mike Cammalleri referring to Subban as "Primetime".

The Canadiens will travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers on Monday, in a game that can be seen on TSN in the Canadiens' viewing region at 7pm et.