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Canadiens Dubois’ First Choice, One Habs Player Untouchable [Rumor]

The Montreal Canadiens are apparently Pierre-Luc Dubois’ first choice but the Canadiens have deemed one player untouchable.

As the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade watch rolls along with no real idea as to how soon a deal might get done (if one gets done at all this season), there is a ton of speculation and news that continues to surface regarding the disgruntled center and what teams are interested in acquiring his services.

Related: Montreal Canadiens Rookie Romanov Lived up to Hype in NHL Debut

Earlier today, we reported on the comments made by Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella that Dubois “wants out” and that the relationship between the two could become an issue as Torts tries to navigate coaching the team versus working with a player who doesn’t want to be there. Certainly, that’s got to be an issue moving forward that might speed up the optics of a trade.

This afternoon, more discussion has moved from Dubois simply not wanting be stay with the team and moved to where he might want to go.

NHL insider Nick Kypreos tweets that the center’s “first destination choice” would be in Montreal. He adds the ask is now focused around Nick Suzuki / plus. While Kypreos didn’t detail whether or not there were actual discussions between the two sides in that regard or if the Canadiens have shot down the Jackets ask, he also adds that defenseman Alexander Romanov has been deemed “untouchable”.

What Might a Package to Montreal Look Like?

Part of the issue with any deal to Montreal is the fact that the Canadiens are so close to the salary cap ceiling. They barely scraped under it prior to the start of the 2020-21 NHL campaign and adding Dubois’ two years at $5 million per season won’t be easy.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi part of any Pierre-Luc Dubois trade?

Brian Hedger of the Columbus Post-Dispatch has heard a package around Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Victor Mete could be where the two sides actually settle if there’s anything to these rumors.

One thing that seems to be happening is that trade talk is picking up. That doesn’t mean a deal is imminent, but from the way Tortorella talked about the player/coach relationship potentially being fractured and the new information that has leaked with as many as 20 teams calling about Dubois’ availabilty, the sense seems to be that something will get done sooner than later.

That’s quite the change considering when news first surfaced, talk was that Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was going to take all the time he needed to make the right decision.

The Blue Jackets will have Dubois in the lineup when they start their season in Nashville this evening. 

Next: Tortorella Confirms Dubois “Wants Out”, Relationship Now Rocky

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