The Montreal Canadiens “Paid Kash” for P.K. Subban.

The Norris Trophy winning defenseman and the club avoided arbitration by agreeing to an 8-year, $72 million deal. The contract makes Subban the highest-paid defenseman ahead of Nashville’s Shea Weber. TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to get the details on the average cap hit on the Canadiens.

The cap hit puts Subban third behind Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. The new deal also makes Subban the highest paid player for the upcoming 2014-15 season.

The deal avoids a messy arbitration decision for both sides. According to reports, the restricted free agent wanted a one-year deal for $8.5 million, while Montreal wanted to pay Subban $5.25 million. Arbitrator Elizabeth Neumeier heard both sides for four hours on Friday, and would’ve had to make a ruling by Sunday. Had he arbitrator made a decision, the ruling would’ve have been binding and both sides would not have been allowed to negotiate with each other until after the New Year. The new deal avoids that.

Subban won the Norris Trophy in the lockout-shortened 2013 season with 11 goals and 27 assists, and followed it up with a 10 goal and 33 assist performance this year. However, P.K. saved his best for the postseason as he led the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference Final with 5 goals and 9 assists.

General Manager Marc Bergevin had a chance to lock up Subban, but had to settle for a 2-year bridge contract. Last season’s playoff performance basically gave Pernell Karl a chance to break the bank, and he did that with this blockbuster deal.

The money and the length of the contract may be very scary, but Montreal had no choice and had to give in to the demands. The deal all but assures that the charismatic blueliner will be playing at the Bell Centre for the rest of his career. If Montreal did not pony up the cash, there were plenty of teams that would want his services. (The hometown Maple Leafs come to mind.)

If Subban continues his high level of play, the deal will more than pay for itself. He and Carey Price have become the faces of the rejuvenated franchise that has a good shot of making it out of the Eastern Conference. He is a skilled offensive defenseman that is a killer on the power play and in even strength situations.

What are your thoughts on the deal? Did the Canadiens give Subban too much? Comment below or reach us on Twitter @DanMountSports or @Hockey_Sentinel.

Dan Mount is the editor for Hockey Sentinel. He also covers the Rangers, Islanders and Devils for NYSportScene.com.