There’s an entire lot of drama popping out of Columbus as of late — and, for as soon as, it is not completely about John Tortorella. As a substitute, it is centered on Pierre-Luc Dubois. The Blue Jackets’ prized 22-year-old middle reportedly wants a change of surroundings.
Dubois is coming off a season wherein he potted 49 factors (18 targets, 31 assists) in 70 regular-season video games earlier than tacking on 10 factors in 10 playoff bubble video games. In three NHL seasons, he has collected 158 factors in 234 video games for Columbus and can be a terrific pickup for any staff.
Jon Cooper calls Pierre-Luc Dubois a “baller.” Says he is bought deceiving pace: “He is simply bought that mix of quickness, he is robust. He is a man that performs with an edge. He walks the road in how he performs, which even makes guys like him more durable to play towards. He is a cornerstone man.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 19, 2020
Clearly, it might be a tad tough this yr for common supervisor Jarmo Kekalainen to ship out the disgruntled No. 1 centerman — with quarantine and border points — however it seems that Dubois’ time in Ohio is winding down.
So, what precisely is occurring? And the way did it get up to now? Here is a timeline of the whole lot we all know, together with rumored locations.
Pierre-Luc Dubois timeline
Is that this the place the connection between Dubois and Tortorella soured? Earlier than the beginning of the third interval of Recreation 2 in Columbus’ qualifying-round collection towards the Leafs, Dubois goes to the bench and will get laid into by Tortorella — together with finger-pointing. Dubois goes again at him, respectfully. It seems as if Tortorella yells “Get up!” at him at one level:
The Blue Jackets misplaced that sport 3-0 however Dubois responded in Recreation 3 with a hat trick, together with the time beyond regulation winner. In accordance with the Columbus Dispatch’s Brian Hedger, there have been different clashes through the common season that concerned public airing of grievances.
Dubois indicators a two-year, $10 million contract with the Blue Jackets days earlier than the beginning of coaching camp.
“I am excited to have the contract carried out and to have the ability to get again on the ice and play hockey once more, particularly with the whole lot that is occurring on the planet proper now,” Dubois says after the staff pronounces the signing. “I am very lucky and looking out ahead to being with my teammates at camp and the beginning of a brand new season.”
Appears like the whole lot was hunky-dory, proper? Nicely, simply previous to the announcement, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that the restricted free agent was not in Ohio and “Dubois could also be in search of a change of surroundings.” Per The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline, Dubois had been skating in Columbus however left. LeBrun added about an hour later that Kekalainen was “assured” he would get a contract carried out.
Pierre-Luc Dubois will not be in Columbus as camp approaches and stays unsigned. And now there are rumblings from a couple of groups across the league that Dubois could also be in search of a change of surroundings. Perhaps wishful pondering on their half. However keep tuned on this one.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 31, 2020
The Blue Jackets open camp and Dubois is requested about his commerce request, however he does not provide up a lot, saying a couple of instances that conversations between he, agent Pat Brisson and Kekalainen are non-public and can stay as such.
“I’ll be one of the best participant I will be, one of the best teammate I will be, one of the best particular person I will be,” he says when pressed about the trade request. “I do not need it to be a distraction. So I believe that is the one means. I believe if I’m going on the market and I work exhausting in practices, have an excellent perspective, work exhausting in video games, play effectively, [then] I believe it is not a distraction.”
Tortorella confirms in an interview with Columbus radio station WBNS that the staff’s first-round draft decide in 2016 (third general) already has his luggage packed.
“He needs out,” Tortorella tells Rothman and Ice. “(Dubois) hasn’t given a purpose why he needs to go away. He ought to get in entrance of it. That is the way in which I believe it’s best to go about what you are promoting, and be one of the best staff you will be.
“He must proceed to do the issues to assist this staff win and be one of the best teammate he will be, or I am undecided the place it goes. It is a scenario and we’ll go to it day-to-day.”
Dubois is within the lineup for the Blue Jackets’ 2021 season opener, a 3-1 loss to the Predators in Nashville. He is slotted in because the No. 1 middle between Mikhail Grigorenko and Oliver Bjorkstrand. In 18:30 of ice time, most amongst Columbus forwards, he notches one shot on objective and two hits and wins 12 of 19 faceoffs.
As talked about, trades might be exhausting to finish due to border restrictions and the actual fact Dubois must quarantine for 14 days if shipped north — which is trying extra seemingly.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in his “31 Thoughts” column that plenty of groups need Dubois, with the Canadiens and Jets the extra critical pursuers.
On Jan. 12, Darren Dreger added gasoline to the Jets rumor on TSN’s “Insider Trading,” saying there was hypothesis they’re taking a look at Dubois and noting that Winnipeg has its personal disgruntled ahead in Patrik Laine.
On Jan. 14, former NHL insider Nick Kyrpeos tweeted that Dubois needs to go to the Canadiens — which is sensible as a result of he hails from Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Que. The one catch, Kypreos mentioned, is that the Blue Jackets need Nick Suzuki in return and the Canadiens could also be cautious of buying and selling the longer term star. (Suzuki appeared unbelievable between Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson in Montreal’s opener.) Kypreos added that rookie defender Alexander Romanov was deemed untouchable.
The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta has additionally added the Geese, Rangers, Kings and Flames to the combo. Calgary is an fascinating commerce accomplice as there has lengthy been hypothesis about Johnny Gaudreau being shipped out of Alberta.