There’s a lot of drama coming out of Columbus these days – and, for once, it’s not all about John Tortorella. Instead, he focuses on Pierre-Luc Dubois. The popular 22-year-old Blue Jackets center needs a change of scenery.
Dubois just finished a season in which he scored 49 points (18 goals, 31 assists) in 70 regular season games before scoring 10 points in 10 playoff bubble games. In three seasons in the NHL, he amassed 158 points in 234 games for Columbus and would be a great choice for any team.
Jon Cooper calls Pierre-Luc Dubois a “baller”. He says he has disappointing speed: “He’s just got that mix of quickness, he’s tough. He’s a guy who plays with an advantage. He walks the line in the way he plays, which makes them even. guys like him harder to play. guys. “
– Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 19, 2020
Obviously, it might be a little tough this year for GM Jarmo Kekalainen to ship the disgruntled No.1 center – with quarantine and border issues – but it looks like Dubois’ time in Ohio is running out. finished.
So what exactly is going on? And how did it get to this point? Here’s a timeline of everything we know, including rumored destinations.
Pierre-Luc Dubois timeline
Is this where the relationship between Dubois and Tortorella soured? Before the start of the third period of Game 2 of Columbus’ qualifying series against the Leafs, Dubois goes to the bench and gets fucked by Tortorella – including finger pointing. Dubois answers him, respectfully. Looks like Tortorella is yelling “Wake up!” at home at some point:
The Blue Jackets lost that game 3-0, but Dubois responded to Game 3 with a hat trick, including the overtime winner. According to Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch, there were other clashes during the regular season that involved the public broadcast of grievances.
Dubois signs a two-year, $ 10 million contract with the Blue Jackets days before training camp begins.
“I’m delighted to have completed the contract and to be able to come back on the ice and play hockey again, especially with everything going on in the world right now,” Dubois said after the signing was announced by the team. “I’m very lucky and look forward to being with my teammates at camp and the start of a new season.”
Seems like everything was hunky-dory, right? Well, just before the announcement, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that the restricted free agent was not in Ohio and that “Dubois may be looking for a change of scenery.” By Aaron Portzline of Athletic, Dubois was skating in Columbus but left. LeBrun added about an hour later that Kekalainen was “confident” he would get a contract.
Pierre-Luc Dubois is not in Columbus as the camp approaches and remains unsigned. And now there are rumblings from a few teams around the league that Dubois may be looking to change scenery. Maybe wishful thinking on their part. But stay tuned on this one.
– Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 31, 2020
The Blue Jackets open camp and Dubois is asked about his trade request, but he doesn’t offer much, claiming a few times that the conversations between him, Agent Pat Brisson, and Kekalainen are and will remain private.
“I’m going to be the best player I can be, the best teammate I can be, the best person I can be,” he says when in a hurry of the exchange request. “I don’t want it to be a distraction. So I think it’s the only way. I think if I go out there and work hard in the practices, have a good attitude, work hard in the games , play well, [then] I think it’s not a distraction. “
Tortorella confirms in an interview with Columbus radio station WBNS that the team’s 2016 first-round pick (third overall) has already packed its bags.
“He wants out,” Tortorella said to Rothman and Ice. “(Dubois) hasn’t given a reason why he wants to leave. He should take the lead. That’s how I think you should run your business and be the best team you can be.
“He has to keep doing things to help this team win and be the best teammate possible, otherwise I don’t know where it’s going. It’s a situation and we’re going there day after day.”
Dubois is in the lineup for the Blue Jackets’ 2021 season opener, a 3-1 loss to the Predators in Nashville. It is classified as the No.1 center between Mikhail Grigorenko and Oliver Bjorkstrand. At 6.30 p.m. ice time, especially among the Columbus forwards, he notched one shot on goal and two hits and won 12 of 19 faceoffs.
As mentioned, the exchanges could be difficult to complete due to border restrictions and the fact that Dubois would have to be quarantined for 14 days if shipped north – which seems more likely.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in her “31 Thoughts “column that several teams want Dubois, the Canadiens and the Jets being the more serious pursuers.
On January 12, Darren Dreger added fuel to the Jets’ rumor about TSN “Insider Trading”, saying there has been speculation they look at Dubois and noting that Winnipeg has its own disgruntled forward Patrik Laine.
Jan 14, Former NHL insider Nick Kyrpeos tweeted that Dubois wants to join the Canadiens – which makes sense because he’s from Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec. The only catch, Kypreos said, is that the Blue Jackets want Nick Suzuki back and the Canadiens may be reluctant to trade the future star. (Suzuki looked fantastic between Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson in Montreal’s opener.) Kypreos added that rookie defenseman Alexander Romanov was deemed untouchable.