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Hotstove Tonight: Markham arena on hold

01/26/2013 10:59 EST | Updated 03/28/2013 05:12 EDT
The main topics of discussion on Saturday's edition of the Hotstove on Hockey Night in Canada started in the city of Markham, Ont., and ended in the city of Montreal.

The panel highlighted the ongoing dispute for a hockey arena in Markham and the contract situation of Montreal Canadiens restricted free-agent P.K. Subban, as the defenceman awaits for a signing or trade in order to get back in the ice.

In Markham, the arena talk has become a battle between those who oppose the project and the ones in favour of the new building.

Hockey Night in Canada analyst Elliotte Friedman said one of the councilors against the plan has put together a motion to have all work stopped, while pro-arena avocates will take part in a council meeting Tuesday night to demonstrate how the business community supports the program.

The neighbourhood is rallying behind a levy that would include $5,000 from every new home, $4,000 from every new town-house, and $2,000 from new condominiums in the city of Markham that would go toward the arena if the project is approved.

According to Friedman, there are reports former Canadiens owner George Gillett is trying to get involved with the plan. However, councilors refuse discuss whether Gillett will be part of the project.

"I can't believe that two councilors could blow this project," said Hockey Night in Canada's Glenn Healy, who will be part of a hearing on Tuesday night.

"If they do not build that arena in Markham the NHL will not come."

Subban's future uncertain

The other interesting topic of the evening was the Subban drama, as the Habs' player remains without a contract.

The 23-year-old from Toronto will meet with his agent Don Meehan early next week to decide what his next move will be.

For HNIC analyst P.J. Stock, the team's way of handling the situation hasn't been the smoothest.

"They’re creating a situation in Montreal where they’re almost alienating him from the team," Stock said. "The worst thing happening for him right now is that the team is winning."

The Habs have the last word when it comes to the defenceman and they're not rushing to sign Subban.

Contract talks have not gone as planned for Subban, either, according to the Hotstove panel since his price is not what the Canadiens are willing to pay.

A trade? Also no.

The panel said teams have called and inquired about the player but Montreal refuses to discuss a possible trade.

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