Once again Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois is on the NHL trade market but again, as is the case with most big-name players available via a trade or in NHL free agency, the Boston Bruins won’t be able to afford him.
Let’s just say the NHL betting odds on Dubois winding up with the Bruins are pretty low.
“The Bruins don’t have what it takes to get Dubois,” an NHL executive source opined to Boston Hockey Now on Saturday. “Forget about what the Jets are asking in return, they don’t even the cap space to sign his $6 million qualifying offer, let alone what he’ll want beyond next season. Plus, let’s be real here, we all know where he wants to end up.”
Where the 24-year-old, 6-foot-3, 218-pound Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec native wants to end up is with the Bruins’ most bitter rival, the Montreal Canadiens. The third overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft has been trying to force a trade to the team he grew up a diehard fan of for years now, and almost ended up there at the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal last summer. Dubois was at the Bell Centre for the opening round of that draft, and many insiders there suspected he was going to be dealt to the Canadiens on the NHL trade market, but the asking price was too high for Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes.
The Dubois to the Canadiens NHL trade rumors are ramping up again though after Dubois and his agent, Pat Brisson requested a trade again from Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. From The Athletic and TSN insider Pierre LeBrun this past Wednesday:
‘Pierre-Luc Dubois and his camp informed the Jets a year ago that they weren’t inclined to sign long-term, and now my understanding is that veteran agent Pat Brisson has let Winnipeg know that it’s probably best to move on this summer rather than do a one-year deal with the restricted free agent and stretch this out further.
In short, they’ve let the Jets know that Dubois won’t re-sign with them this summer and are hoping the sides can work together to facilitate a trade that works for everyone.’
Forget the fact that the aforementioned source told BHN that Cheveldayoff wants ‘a 2023 first round pick and Grade A prospect’, something the Bruins can’t really offer to anyone on the NHL trade market right now, the biggest key in LeBrun’s report is Dubois’ reluctance to sign past this coming season. It is widely believed that the only team he would sign long-term with right now is the Canadiens. So that means the Bruins would likely not be acquiring a top 6 center for the long-term right now, and would have to give Dubois $6 million this season only to lose him in free agency in 2024.
So, at least until Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney can acquire a first round pick and better prospects, he will have to scour the NHL trade market more to find potential replacements for when captain Patrice Bergeron, and veteran center David Krejci retire. If you like NHL betting, don’t bet on that happening anytime soon.