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The Problem with Pierre-Luc Dubois

Can the Winnipeg Jets get a happy ending with PLD?

Winnipeg Jets v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

When the Winnipeg Jets traded Patrik Laine for Pierre-Luc Dubois, it was the perfect storm. Dubois was disgruntled with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Patrik Laine was disgruntled with the Winnipeg Jets. Two young, high end players wanted out. It was the perfect time for two teams to swap players and give both of them a fresh start. Now that it has become public that Pierre-Luc Dubois would like to go play for the Montreal Canadiens, it is funny that there does not seem to be a trade there.

I could rehash the whole article, but The Athletic laid it out really well. Basically the Montreal Canadiens will not be moving Nick Suzuki or Cole Caulfield for Dubois and the Jets probably do not want to make a trade without one of them (probably Suzuki). Furthermore, the Habs do not have to make a trade for Dubois and the Jets do not have to trade him.

For all the noise this story has caused, Dubois has never said he needs to be traded from the Jets right now. He has made it clear he desires to play in Montreal and that he would like out of Winnipeg. Now, wanting out of Winnipeg is the bigger concern here. When he was traded here two years ago, he sounded like someone who wanted a fresh start and to make it work. And now two years later it appears he wants out. So what happened?

It sounds like the Winnipeg Jets dressing room was a toxic mess last year and has been that way for a while. It sounds fairly cliquey and ruled by a queen bee. Paul Stastny said it was one of the worst rooms he had been in. Mark Scheifele sounded open to a trade as did Blake Wheeler. So what happened to the Jets room that has led them to have multiple young players who ask for trades even if there is a variety of reasons for those trade requests? And what can the Jets do differently to ensure this does not keep happening?

On the surface, Dubois wants to play in Montreal and that is that. But he can do that in two years with no issue. So why is he requesting a trade now? We don’t know, but it could be that he is once again struggling to fit into the team. Maybe it is a Dubois problem, but I am always hesitant with people who are outsiders on hockey teams because hockey culture is toxic. If a player does not fit in, it sometimes is more of an issue with the culture itself and not the player. See Dougie Hamilton and his love of museums for example. Just because a player wants out does not mean there is a problem with the city or the player because it can also point to an issue in the locker room. And we know the Jets have some issues in the lockerroom.

The Jets and Habs do not need to make a trade between their two teams to make Dubois happy. There does not appear to be a fit there anyways. This is not like Dubois and Laine. If the Jets choose to trade Dubois, they could sign him two a two-year contract and then get what they can for him from any team in the league that can give them a good return. The Jets do not have to look to make Dubois happy. Dubois can do what he wants in two years. They have to watch out for themselves and find a satisfactory solution for themselves. They gave a lot up for Dubois and need to get a fair return back for him. That is all they need to worry about.