P.K. Subban's two younger brothers thought he was only joking when he told them he'd been traded to the Predators.
The elder Subban texted word of the deal, which sent him from Montreal to Nashville for Shea Weber on June 29, through a family group chat on the instant messaging app Whatsapp.
"Everyone was just kind of shocked," said Jordan Subban, the youngest of the trio. "Including him."
Malcolm and Jordan are both keen trackers of their brother's career and hope to join him one day soon in the NHL in what would be the league's latest brother combo. Hockey already has the Benns (Jamie and Jordie), Staals (Marc, Jordan and Eric), Sedins (Henrik and Daniel), Millers (Ryan and Drew) and Schenns (Luke and Brayden).
"I think they both are going to figure it out," P.K, a Norris Trophy-winning defenceman, said of his siblings in a recent interview.
Malcolm is probably closest to getting there first, though when and where is unclear.
A first-round pick of the Boston Bruins in 2012 (24th overall), the 22-year-old got into his first NHL game last year, relieving Bruins No. 1 Tuukka Rask. Subban posted a .911 save percentage in 27 AHL games, his season marred by laranynx surgery in February after he was hit in the throat by a puck during pre-game warmups.
"As a goaltender, he's managed to do really, really well for himself, put himself in a (good) position," P.K. said. "And I've seen him mature a lot as a professional and he's going to do really, really well."
Whether he gets to the NHL in Boston anytime soon is largely in question. Rask is only 29, signed until 2021 and among the more stable players at his position. His backup, Anton Khudobin, recently signed a two-year contract with the Bruins.
"I'm pretty close obviously," Malcolm said. "It's my fourth year pro, just looking to make the next step here."
About 15 months younger than Malcolm and a fourth-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks (115th overall in 2013), Jordan more closely embodies P.K. He's also a defenceman with an offensive twist, the leader among Utica Comet defenders with 11 goals and 36 points in his first AHL season.
P.K. once said that Jordan would emerge as the best of the three.
Unlike 27-year-old P.K., who stands a sturdy six feet and more than 200 pounds, Jordan is on the smaller side, listed at five foot nine and 178 pounds.
He's used to living in his brother's shadow, seemingly tired of comparisons.
"People just expect the same things out of you," he said. "It's nothing new."
Just 21, Jordan is probably a year or two, at least, from getting his chance to play for the Canucks.
P.K. is confident that the opportunity will come, raving about his youngest brother's work ethic and skill. He tries not to counsel either brother too much, lest he be overbearing. And, as he points out, "I'm not perfect."
He doesn't get to see his brothers play as much as he'd like given the weekend-heavy AHL schedule, let alone his own hectic pace in the NHL.
Malcolm and Jordan rarely watch P.K.'s games, "unless I have NHL network or NHL Centre Ice," Malcolm said.
Both brothers stay up to date with their star, though often polarizing, brother. Coverage was typically hard to miss over the years in Montreal given P.K.'s big personality and standout game. His move to Nashville, which boasts one of the league's top defence contingents, should ensure quieter days ahead.
"Obviously he likes the positive attention," Malcolm said. "The negative, he understands that it comes with it. Not everyone agrees with what he's doing and not everyone is going to like it, but he's pretty good with it so I am too."
"At the end of the day I know who my brother is and that's all that matters," Jordan added.
If similar given their shared pursuits, the brothers boast admittedly different personalities. Jordan said he and Malcolm are slightly more laid-back and Malcolm describes himself as a "pretty chill guy."
Whatever their differences, the goals for each remain the same.
"We're brothers, but we're not the Sedins, we're not twins," Jordan said. "We have different genes and not everybody's the same. (P.K.'s) doing what he's doing and he's doing a great job and I'm happy for him.
"I just want to hopefully get to that level."