According to Elliotte Friedman, the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets have had, and will likely continue to have trade conversations about Pierre Luc-Dubois. Friedman noted in the latest 32 Thoughts podcast: “Jets have talked to the Canadiens on and off about Dubois, we know that Dubois is gonna end up there 95%, is there some way we can make a deal so the Canadiens get him earlier and we get something we want? They’ve talked about that.”
In other words, the Jets have a good indication that Dubois isn’t staying and both sides think he’ll wind up in Montreal — where it’s been rumored he wants to go. The Jets see no point after this season in waiting around for the inevitable, so the idea seems to be to move him to the Canadiens ahead of Dubois hitting arbitration and ultimately free agency. The idea will be to see if they can get something of value from the Habs.
Dubois has one more season remaining on a contract that the Jets have control on. He is playing out this season at a cost of $6 million and the expectation is that, at best, he would sign a one-year deal taking him to unrestricted free agency in which he’d leave for nothing. At that point, if the Jets were to play this as, ‘Well, let’s trade him as a rental to a team where we’ll get the best value’, the most they would get is the rental price for a player who is guaranteed to leave. Any team not named the Canadiens trying to acquire Dubois would also know he’ll be darting for Montreal right when the 2023-24 campaign ends.
As a result, the best value might actually come from the Habs, who can trade for the player they want, but also get the leverage to sign Dubois to an eight-year deal versus a seven-year contract, getting the cap hit down in the process.
Could Dubois’ Exit Start a Domino Effect?
Meanwhile, in Winnipeg, there is a lot of talk about players (Mark Schiefele, Connor Hellbuycyk, and Blake Wheeler) who have only one year remaining on their deals and what they might be thinking about their future. As Friedman noted, “This could be the end of an era” in Winnipeg and Dubois going might only be the start of a number of players exiting the organization.
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