Hours before he signed a contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets, forward Pierre-Luc was believed to have asked for a trade, hoping to start the 2021 season in a different uniform. He then inked a two year contract with the team that selected him third overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
While the rumours might have quieted down when he signed the deal, it is believed the chatter is coming back as Elliotte Friedman reveals in his latest 31 Thoughts column on Sportsnet that there’s not a ton of optimism at this time that the situation can be fixed.
According to a player who was aware that Dubois wanted out of the team, the young forward is apparently hoping to be moved to a bigger market to pursue his career in the NHL.
Sounds like a recurring thing in Columbus.
“The more I’ve learned about Dubois’s situation, the more he, his agent and the Blue Jackets deserve credit for keeping it quiet as long as they did. I couldn’t understand why Columbus was worried about an offer sheet at a time teams are strapped for cash, but one player explained it: “We knew [Dubois] was thinking of leaving, if he could.”
I’ve asked if the situation can be fixed, but there’s not a ton of optimism at this time. It wasn’t the negotiations, and several sources warned against putting it solely at the feet of John Tortorella. Dubois didn’t reveal much at his introductory media conference, but the aforementioned player said the feeling is Dubois wants “a bigger stage.” (In the NHL, that doesn’t always mean the biggest market.)
GM Jarmo Kekalainen held onto both Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin as UFAs-to-be; no one’s expecting him to move quickly on Dubois.”
While there were rumours that the relationship between Dubois and head coach John Tortorella was the issue, it sounds like this main reason is way more complicated to fix for the Blue Jackets. They ain’t moving and that could mean that Dubois will.
The Quebec native put up 18 goals and 49 points in 70 games for Columbus last season and an additional 10 points in 10 playoff games. Suffice it to say that if Dubois ends up hitting the trade market, there will be no shortage of interested suitors.
Source: Sportsnet · Photo Credit: Zuma Press