Things are getting ugly fast in Columbus. Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella benched his forward Pierre-Luc Dubois for two full periods in his team’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, after he seemed to give up on a puck battle in the offensive zone in the first period. According to team insider Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Dubois “took nearly 10 seconds to go from the far end of the rink to the Blue Jackets’ bench to make a change.”
His teammates are getting fed up with his attitude. We all know Dubois wants to be traded from Columbus, however, prior to training camp, he told reporters he would be a “good teammate” and a “good player” as the Blue Jackets attempt to trade him. His actions spoke otherwise on Thursday.
“We’ve had our talks with Luc,” captain Nick Foligno said, per TSN. “He’s one of us until told otherwise. We’ve said that out loud, and that’s the way it is. We don’t treat him any differently.
“You guys are looking for a big story. He didn’t play tonight, so I get that tensions are high. But for us, I’ve got 20 other guys on the team to worry about.”
However, other teammates like Oliver Bjorkstrand, did not want to comment on if he thought Dubois was being a good teammate.
To make things even uglier, Kevin Dude of the Journal de Quebec, which is keeping a close eye on Dubois seeing that the Montreal Canadiens are is preferred trade destination, reports that Tortorella has asked for all images of Dubois to be removed from the Nationwide Arena.
Something else reporters were able to ask the forward on Thursday night postgame, seeing that Dubois declined all interviews through a club spokesman.
Tortorella said Thursday he’s not coaching Dubois any differently now from how he did before the trade request was placed. It is up to the young forward to show he is a good player and a good teammate. For now, his actions speak otherwise.
And it sure sounds like Torts has had enough : he wants to see the 22-year-old nowhere in the arena besides, maybe, on his bench.
It is believed that more than 12 teams have checked in on Dubois, many of whom have expressed significant interest in acquiring him. The Anaheim Ducks, Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Arizona Coyotes are among those teams interested.
Source: Journal de Quebec · Photo Credit: Zuma Press