P.K. Subban returns to Montreal for first time as a visitor

P.K. Subban and the Predators visit Shea Weber and the Canadiens Thursday night. Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

P.K. Subban on Thursday will play his first game in Montreal since last June's blockbuster trade.

The deal, in which Subban was traded straight up for perennial All-Star Shea Weber, sent shock waves through the NHL.

It's not a stretch to call Subban one of the most popular players in the long and illustrious history of the Montreal Canadiens. He was a second-round draft pick of the Habs in 2007 and played six full seasons (and part of a seventh) with the team.

Subban won the 2012-13 Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman. Subban became the first Montreal Canadien to win the award since Chris Chelios in 1988-89.

Just as important, Subban made an impact off the ice. In 2015, Subban and his foundation pledged to raise $10 million over seven years for the Montreal Children's Hospital. "P.K.'s Helping Hands" provide financial assistance to families of sick children so they can concentrate on caring for them instead of worrying about how they will provide for their family during a stressful time. A part of the hospital is now named the P.K. Subban Atrium.

How Subban is doing in Nashville

Subban's Nashville Predators are in third place in the Central Division, six points ahead of the St. Louis Blues, but 12 points behind the second-place Chicago Blackhawks. He has missed 16 games this season with an upper-body injury, but was still voted to captain the Central Division team at January's All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

Subban did not play on January 3 when the Canadiens defeated the Predators in overtime in Music City. The last time he played at the Bell Centre was March 10, 2016, when Subban left on a stretcher with a neck injury.

Other notes

Nashville's Filip Forsberg has scored 10 goals during his five-game goal-scoring streak. That streak is one game shy of the Predators’ team record, which is shared by six players, including Forsberg himself.

After replacing head coach Michel Therrien with Claude Julien two weeks ago, the Canadiens underwent a serious roster makeover in the days leading up to Wednesday’s trade deadline. Montreal imported some big bodies and an abundance of grit.

Montreal acquired Dwight King, Jordie Benn, Steve Ott, Andreas Martinsen and Brandon Davidson. Ott is the only player in that group under 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds.