NHL trade chatter was picking up again Friday and an NHL source has confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that the Boston Bruins have looked into what it may take to acquire disgruntled Columbus Blue Jackets budding star forward Pierre-Luc Dubois.
The source stressed that this was completely exploratory and for now, just Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney doing his due diligence on a player that has suddenly become the big fish on the NHL Trade market. There were also no details of what a return from the Bruins would need to be but one
Dubois, 22, signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Blue Jackets on New Year’s Eve day but according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Dubois agreed to a short-term deal rather than a long-term one to allow the Blue Jackets to facilitate a trade. Portzline’s colleague Pierre LeBrun tweeted prior to the signing that some teams have been notified that Dubois is looking for a change of scenery. According to the source referenced above, that prompted Sweeney and an array of NHL GM’s to call Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen to get ‘the lowdown’ on the situation.
While the NHL Free Agent market picked up, the NHL Trade market had quieted down a bit this past week. With a player like Pierre-Luc Dubois potentially on the market though, that could change in a hurry. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound forward, who was drafted third overall at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, had a breakout season in 2019-20 and the NHL Return To Play. Dubois had a team-leading 49 points in 70 games last season before adding 10 points in 10 playoff games and helping the Columbus Blue Jackets upset the Toronto Maple Leafs in the qualifying round, before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Pierre-Luc Dubois can play both left wing and center and could definitely not just provide the secondary scoring that Sweeney has tried unsuccessfully to land on the NHL Trade market but also primary scoring should Brad Marchand’s injury ever act up again. He could also become a successor to 34-year-old Bruins center David Krejci who is entering the final season of his contract with the Bruins. Heck, whenever new Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron retires or moves on from the Bruins, Dubois could easily become the Bruins’ top pivot, with Charlie Coyle moving into the two slot.
Bruins training camp begins Sunday morning but Sweeney clearly is leaving no stone unturned as he scours the NHL trade market for scoring depth up front and a left-shot defenseman.