Things are absolutely heating up in the trade chatter for Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois as he wants out of the situation in Columbus, but that doesn’t mean anybody should expect him to land with the Boston Bruins. Some are speculating he wants to play on a bigger stage and others believe he simply doesn’t want to play for hard-driving head coach John Tortorella anymore, but either way it seems there are some pretty earnest efforts to move him out of Columbus rather quickly.
The Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens were mentioned front and center as teams heavily interested in PLD by Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman, but there are going to be plenty of teams with interest in the big, franchise center.
Could the Boston Bruins be interested in Dubois?
Of course, they would be interested with a pair of top-6 centers in Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci that are in their mid-30’s. They do have 21-year-old Jack Studnicka, who is expected to be in Thursday’s opening night Bruins lineup subbing in for David Pastrnak, as a top-6 center ready to bust onto the scene in these next couple of seasons. He’ll inject some youthful talent into the Black and Gold center situation sooner rather than later, and the Bruins are locked in with Patrice Bergeron and Charlie Coyle at the other two top-9 center spots in the lineup moving forward.
Studnicka would most certainly be going the other way to Columbus if the Bruins were to somehow cobble a trade package together for Dubois, but the sense at this address is that the Bruins simply don’t have the high-end assets to get a deal like this done.
Studnicka and Urho Vaakanainen are their highest-valued assets close to the NHL, and former first round pick and current University of Michigan center Johnny Beecher is years away from contributing in an impactful way. For a team like Columbus and their most prized young player, they are going to be asking for a whole lot more than that for the impactful, young Dubois.
Add to that the fact any first-round picks are projected to be toward the end of the round considering where the Bruins stand among the NHL power rankings, and there are very clearly other NHL franchises capable of offering a whole lot more than the Boston Bruins could cobble together for the franchise center.
The bottom line: Don’t hold your breath for Pierre-Luc Dubois if you’re a Bruins fan that’s seen the B’s in the mix for plenty of big-name players over the last few years. They always seem to be hovering and interested, but very rarely do the Boston Bruins close the deal for these big-ticket NHL items when they become available. Any chatter about Dubois would be the same song, different verse.
On to the puck links:
*Washington Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov is ready for his close-up with the Caps and has big shoes to fill with Braden Holtby moving on. (Washington Post)
*Speaking of the East Division, check out our season preview BHN podcast where we chat with NHL Network analyst and former NHL tough guy Mike Rupp about his predictions for the toughest division in the newly realigned league. (Boston Hockey Now)
*My partner-in-crime Jimmy Murphy as the New Jersey Devils and the Florida Panthers jumping into the fray for Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois as it seems pretty clear the big center “wants out” of Columbus. (Boston Hockey Now)
*You may know FOH Ian Mendes as a TV and radio personality out in Ottawa covering all things Senators, but now he’s a scribe with a mailbag covering all the Senators news that’s fit to print as well. (The Athletic)
*Here’s a look at some very high-profile pending free agents following the 2021 NHL season, per FOH (Friend of Haggs) Pierre Lebrun. Among them are players like Alex Ovechkin and Dougie Hamilton, who should both be looking at plenty of zeroes in their contracts. (The Athletic)
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Kingerski talked to a gambling expert about 31 prop bets across the NHL to make you all a little money. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*For something completely different: Jack Kirby’s son steps up and makes a statement dripping with contempt for the Capitol rioters that dressed up in Captain America gear before breaking federal law.
Neal Kirby, the son of Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby, was distressed to see some of the January 6 terrorists/rioters wearing shirts with versions of his dad’s creation corrupted by the image of the outgoing president. His message to them: pic.twitter.com/RTH9UNs491
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 14, 2021