There’s a lot of drama coming out of Columbus these days – and for once it’s not all about John Tortorella. Instead, it focuses on Pierre-Luc Dubois. The valued 22-year-old center of the Blue Jackets reportedly needs a change of scene.
Dubois has had 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 NHL seasons prior to 2021, he accumulated 158 points in 234 games for Columbus and was a great pick for any team.
Jon Cooper calls Pierre-Luc Dubois a “baller”. He has a deceptive speed: “He just has this mix of speed, he’s tough. He’s the type who plays with an edge. He goes the line in his style of play, which makes it even more difficult to play against guys like him . He’s a cornerstone. ” Guy.”
– Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 19, 2020
Of course, it might be a bit difficult for General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen to extradite the disgruntled # 1 Centerman – with quarantine and border issues – this year, but it sounds like Dubois’ time in Ohio is running out.
So what exactly is going on? And how did this point come about? Here’s a timeline of everything we know, including rumored goals.
Timeline by Pierre-Luc Dubois
4th of August
Is this the place where Dubois and Tortorella’s relationship has deteriorated? Before the start of the third phase of Game 2 in Columbus’ qualifying round against the Leafs, Dubois goes on the bench and is inserted by Tortorella – including pointing the finger. Dubois goes back to him respectfully. It looks like Tortorella is saying “Wake up!” at one point with him:
The Blue Jackets lost that game 3-0, but Dubois responded with a hat trick in Game 3, including the overtime winner. Brian Hedger of Columbus Dispatch said there were additional clashes during the regular season where complaints were publicly broadcast.
Dubois signs a two-year $ 10 million deal with the Blue Jackets days before training camp begins.
“I’m delighted to have signed my contract and to be back on the ice and playing hockey again, especially with everything that’s happening in the world,” said Dubois after the team announced the signing. “I’m very happy and looking forward to being at camp with my teammates and starting a new season.”
Sounds like everything is in a good mood, doesn’t it? Well, just before the announcement, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that the restricted freelance agent was not in Ohio and “Dubois may be looking for a change of scene”. According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Dubois had skated in Columbus but left. LeBrun added about an hour later that Kekalainen was “confident” of closing a deal.
Pierre-Luc Dubois is not in Columbus when the camp approaches and remains unsigned. And now there are rumors from some teams in the league that Dubois may be looking for a change of scene. Maybe wishful thinking on their part. But stay tuned.
– Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 31, 2020
The Blue Jackets Open Camp and Dubois are asked about his trade request, but he doesn’t offer much and says a couple of times that conversations between him, Agent Pat Brisson and Kekalainen are and will remain private as such.
“I’ll be the best player I can be, the best teammate, the best person I can be,” he said as he pushed for the trade request. “I don’t want it to be a distraction. I think that’s the only way. I think if I go out there and work hard in training, have a good attitude, work hard in games, play well, [then] I think it’s not a distraction. “
Tortorella confirmed in an interview with Columbus radio station WBNS that the team’s first choice in 2016 (third overall) has already packed its bags.
“He wants out,” Tortorella says to Rothman and Ice. “(Dubois) didn’t give a reason why he wanted to leave. He should face it. I think this is how you should go about your business and be the best team you can be.
“He has to keep doing everything he can to help this team win and be the best teammate he can be or I’m not sure where it is going. It’s a situation and we will do it every day . “
Dubois is in the line-up for the Blue Jackets 2021 season opener, a 3-1 loss to the Predators in Nashville. It is the No. 1 center between Mikhail Grigorenko and Oliver Bjorkstrand. In the ice age of 6:30 p.m., mostly among the strikers of Columbus, he scores a shot on goal and two hits and wins 12 of 19 encounters.
In the first four games of the Blue Jackets, Dubois has only scored one goal in seven shots. Centerman only played 15 minutes and three seconds in Monday’s matinee win against the Red Wings. In the other three competitions, the average was closer to 18 minutes. In the second period against the Red Wings he didn’t do a single regular shift and the one shift he did was in the last seven minutes of the middle frame.
Was he on a bench? Head coach John Tortorella said no.
“You really dissect that bench and sit. I think I put Max on the bench [Domi] you said the other night. Slow down, boys, “said Tortorella after the game on January 18th.” You’ll know when I sit someone on the bench. I have to make decisions when the game is being played when I think someone is leaving at certain times. But don’t try to manifest anything to the bank. This is all part of a three-tier hockey game. “
Dubois scored that only goal, the game winner, in the third half on Monday.
Well, now it’s maybe a bit clearer that Dubois was benched. The Centerman only played three minutes and 55 seconds during the entire game. You read that right: a few ticks under four minutes, and they were all on their first period.
On the second post-game press conference question, Tortorella was asked what had happened – and he almost confirmed it was a bank.
“I will not discuss this with you,” said Tortorella.
According to Tortorella, the room is fine – something Captain Nick Foligno confirmed when asked if he was concerned. He said he wasn’t. It should be noted that Oliver Bjorkstrand would not comment on the Dubois riot postgame.
Later on in his post-game press, Tortorella was asked if he was the guy who makes the decisions about the Ice Age. His answer further indicated that he was not satisfied with what Dubois was showing on the ice.
“I really don’t make decisions for up to minutes. It’s up to the player to show me and if there’s one thing I can read fairly easily is the minutes,” said Tortorella. “You will get out of there if you play, if you play right, and you will get out again. The responsibility rests with the player, with all the players, not just the player we’re talking about about here who sat.”
Reporters asked Dubois to speak after the game, but he didn’t speak to them.
22nd of January
After Thursday night’s drama, both Tortorella and Dubois tried to calm things down on Friday.
“He wasn’t benched for a shift last night – that eroded and it just kept eroding for the first five games,” said Tortorella. The team is 1-2-2 to start the season. “And I think a lot of people are doing a bigger deal because of the extenuating circumstances. You guys [the media] can do that. I only train athletes, and I won’t let our standard of play, our culture, and the way we do business here change. “
The fiery bank manager did not confirm whether the Centerman will be in the line-up against the lightning on Saturday night.
“It’s a coach’s decision,” Dubois said of the bench while admitting that he could have started the season better and done better. “It’s out of my control. As I said, I can be a better player. I know that, I acknowledge that. My game was not at the level it can be. What happened then last night is.” a coach’s decision. The coach is paid for the coach and the players are paid to play and I don’t have much control over that decision. “
Dubois was also asked why he wanted to leave Ohio but did not want to comment.
As mentioned earlier, due to border restrictions and the fact that Dubois would have to be quarantined for 14 days if it were to be shipped north, deals could be difficult to close – which seems more likely.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in his 31 Thoughts column on Jan. 12 that some teams want Dubois, with the Canadiens and Jets being the more serious pursuit.
On the same day, Darren Dreger added fuel to the Jets rumor about TSN’s “insider trading” fuel. He said there has been speculation that they are looking at Dubois, noting that Winnipeg has an angry striker of their own in Patrik Laine. The Finnish striker is now in an injured reserve so he may not be as available.
On Jan. 14, ex-NHL insider Nick Kyrpeos tweeted that Dubois wants to join the Canadiens – which makes sense because he’s from Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Que. The only catch, Kypreos said, is that the Blue Jackets want Nick Suzuki in return and the Canadiens may be wary of trading the future star. (Suzuki looked fantastic in the Montreal opener between Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson.) Kypreos added that rookie defender Alexander Romanov was seen as untouchable.
David Pagnotta from the fourth period also added the Ducks, Rangers, Kings and Flames to the mix. Calgary is an interesting trading partner as there has long been speculation that Johnny Gaudreau will be shipped from Alberta.
After January 21, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the next day that a number of teams have expressed an interest in Dubois, including the Ducks, Wild, Canadians, Jets, Flames, Senators, Rangers, Sabers, Flyers, Red Wings and Capitals, and Coyotes. Basically, pretty much every team is interested – and why not if a highly acclaimed # 1 center is the best?
It goes without saying that I think other teams do too.
The question now arises as to which teams can fulfill what the CBJ wants. This is not going to be a pure futures business. I think Columbus would like this to be a hockey deal if they move on.
– Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 22, 2021
Later that night, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Kekalainen had made a deal to extradite Dubois and that one of the teams circling the star was Winnipeg. The Jets have Laine and the restricted free agent Jack Roslovic who also asked for a deal and is from Columbus.