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How do you solve a problem like Pierre-Luc Dubois? It’s a very good question and it seems that trading the unfortunate star might be the only solution for the Columbus Blue Jackets that have been here before.
Yes Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene and Sergei BobrovskyThe Blue Jackets, all of which saw no long-term future in Columbus, Ohio, now face the real prospect of saying goodbye to another talent in Dubois.
Now, on New Year’s Eve, the 22-year-old signed a two-year contract extension for $ 10 million, but reports of dissatisfaction in Dubois’ camp had surfaced earlier that day and now Columbus head coach John Tortorella has confirmed that his Pivot No. 1 actually wants to get out and also made it clear that he will not put up with any nonsense.
That said, it seems more than likely that an ugly gamer-franchise divorce is likely, and given his age, production history, and incredibly high upward trend, there will be a shipload of teams keen to help Pierre. Luc Dubois escapes the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After all, Dubois is a special talent, and it is not often that 22 year old centers built on size and strength with a wealth of skills become available and the production is already there at 158 points (65) G, 93 A) in 235 regular season NHL games, including 49 points (18 G, 31 A) in 70 games in 2019-20.
Because of this, I’ll use the fit to find out what goals I think are the best for the striker and whether the teams in question have enough resources to get a deal working. Let’s dive right in …
1. New York Rangers
Okay, so maybe I’m a bit biased putting the New York Rangers first since I’m a Blueshirts fan, but that makes a lot of sense to everyone involved for a variety of different reasons.
First, the Rangers desperately need a real second-line center to score a fatal one-two Mika Zibanejadwho is well on its way to establishing itself as one of the best linchpins in the NHL. Yes they have Ryan Strome who scored 92 points (36 G, 56 A) in 134 regular season games for the Blueshirts in The Big Apple, but that may have more to do with having Artemi Panarin on his line than anything else.
Strome isn’t a long-term second-line center option for the Rangers, however, and Dubois is a definite upgrade. Dubois also worked with the President of the Rangers John Davidson in Columbus, while he was also developing deadly chemistry with Panarin with the Blue Jackets, Dubois would get into a situation where he would be comfortable and likely to anchor a second line with Panarin on it too.
Dubois’ reunion with Panarin would be trouble for the rest of the NHL, while the Rangers would be formidable with Zibanejad, Dubois and then suddenly in the middle Filip Chytil So it wouldn’t surprise me if they were serious actors in trade talks and then signed Dubois into a long-term deal when they pulled the trigger for a trade.
The caveat here is that the Blue Jackets would probably be reluctant to send a rising star to another team in their division – which the Rangers are in normal times – but if New York could send a package of Strom Kaapo Kakko or Pavel Buchnevich and a large selection, it might be enough to convince Columbus General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen say yes.
2. Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks need a true heir Ryan Getzlaf Who’s in the final year of an eight-year $ 88 million contract and, while expected to be re-signed, will only be a short-term contract. With the veteran showing signs of regression, now is likely time to look to the future.
Hence, Pierre-Luc Dubois could be an attractive option for Duck’s general manager Bob Murray. After all, he built Getzlaf’s image in that he weighs 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, but he’s also got a lot of dexterity with a hell of a hell of an offensive edge. In other words, Dubois is basically a young Ryan Getzlaf.
Dubois is only 22 years old and is a perfect fit for Anaheim’s current schedule when it comes to rebuilding this team. The left-footed shot could fit into the second row until Getzlaf retires before moving up to the top row and becoming the new face of this franchise that lacks real star power and that could deal with a real cornerstone after Getzlaf has finished it.
In the long run, Dubois could become a real pillar of the ducks along with potential striker Trevor Zegras and the two could really help drive the return to real competitiveness for this team. Anaheim also has the funds to make a deal of this magnitude work while Pierre-Luc Dubois is expelled from the Eastern Conference, which would be a selling point for the Blue Jackets.
3. Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens and Pierre-Luc Dubois are in a lot of smoke right now and I can understand why General Manager Marc Bergevin would be interested. After all, he built a squad built on size and strength in the off-season, and Dubois would fit in perfectly.
Now one could say that Montreal no longer needs a center because it has one Phillip Danaultwho is UFA after this season, and two young stallions Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi right through the middle. Not only is Dubois a potential elite pivot, it’s French-Canadian too and it just seems perfect for this market.
It would take a lot to trade for Dubois, however, and you would imagine the Columbus Blue Jackets asking for either Suzuki or Kotkaniemi in return, in addition to another piece and a high draft pick, which is certainly a formidable stretch . But we know Bergevin loves to make a huge trade and mess things up, and it might be too tempting to miss the opportunity to get a Pierre-Luc Dubois-style player who is the face of your franchise and could become a real icon in one of the largest markets in the world.
4. Winnipeg Jets
This makes sense as both franchises have problems that they will have to resolve in the not-too-distant future. The Columbus Blue Jackets obviously have Pierre-Luc Dubois while the Winnipeg Jets also have an angry star Patrik laine. So what about a direct exchange between the two teams?
Okay, additional Columbus sweeteners may need to be used to achieve this as Laine is arguably the better, more profitable player, but you have to wonder if Laine would be happier in Columbus than in Winnipeg. I mean, you can’t imagine Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen wanting to deal with another big name in his organization.
Both Laine and Dubois are about to be RFAs, so the Jets and Columbus would need some assurances about both players’ long-term plans before hitting the trigger on a trade, but this makes sense for both teams. I mean, the Blue Jackets would get a real star back who would soften the blow of losing Dubois while Dubois would fill in as Winnipeg’s No. 2 long-term center behind it Mark Scheifele, and Paul Stastny could fall on the third line which would give them tremendous power in the middle.
It would also mean the Winnipeg Jets would not have to race past Cole Perfetti, who was the 10th choice in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, and it would give that team long-term strength and depth in one of the more important positions in all of hockey while they are in Patrik Laine get rid of a headache.
5. Boston Bruins
I was surprised that I hadn’t heard the Boston Bruins associated with Pierre-Luc Dubois. I am missing something This is a trade that would make a lot of sense especially for the B’s.
With Patrice Bergeron do not get younger at 35 and David Krejci As UFA after this season, the Bruins have to start planning for the future when it comes to the middle and Dubois would be a perfect replacement for Krejci and a long-term legacy of Bergeron.
With his size, strength and dexterity, Dubois is perfectly built for Boston Bruins hockey and could be the No. 1 center of the future, especially with not much in the pipeline right now. There is Jack Studnickawho will get a shot in the NHL this year but would likely need to be included as part of a package for Dubois, along with potentially Jake DeBrusk or a top 4 defender in the group of Brandon Carlo to do this.
But with their two franchise centers nearing the end of their careers, it would be smart for Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney to at least kick Pierre-Luc Dubois’ tires, because to be honest, how often does a 22-year-old center keep up with skill and strength? Not often at all and if they are not careful, the B’s could remain significantly weak in the middle for the next few years if they don’t take a big step soon.