Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman dropped an interesting bit of news during Wednesday’s broadcast of Game 4 between the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. The news had nothing to do with either team, but it was one of the biggest takeaways of the evening –outside of the overtime controversy that saw the Colorado Avalanche have too many men on the ice during the overtime-winning goals.
Friedman said that Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois has told the organization his plan as of now is to get to unrestricted free agency in summer 2024 rather than sign a long-term extension. He doesn’t intend to stay in Winnipeg on a lengthy deal and, at best, will sign a two-year deal this summer as an RFA and then become an unrestricted free agent next summer. It’s hard to imagine the Jets see this is as anything more than Dubois letting them know he’ll be leaving two offseasons from now.
For now, Dubois is an RFA, so the Jets control his rights for two more seasons.
Friedman noted back in April that there were rumored changes coming to the Jets. Among the situations people were watching was what would happen with Dubois. Friedman said at the time, “So he’s in a situation where he has some real power over his future. And if the Jets don’t feel like they can sign him long term this is going to be a situation to watch.” This update from the NHL insider suggests the chess game has already started.
Could Dubois ultimately change his mind? Sure. If the Jets hire Barry Trotz and have some success, over the next two seasons, it’s quite possible Dubois falls in love with the idea of staying long-term and has no desire to go elsewhere. If the Jets are willing to give him a hefty extension, it’s certainly possible he doesn’t feel the need to test the market.
But, there is talk that the salary cap could start taking major jumps in the summer of 2024 and perhaps Dubois is aware of his situation. He may want to see what his value is after a couple of strong seasons and who can blame him? The only downside here seems to be that letting the organization know now and having that become public knowledge isn’t the greatest way to get the fan base in Winnipeg on your side.
Could a Trade Be Coming?
It doesn’t sound like the Jets have any interest in looking at a trade that would send Dubois elsewhere this summer. But, if this situation gets more public and potentially uglier than it already is, that could change in a hurry.
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