NHL Rumors: Pierre-Luc Dubois, Patrick Kane, and Robin Lehner
The NHL Rumors Mill may get a nice new name to discuss this offseason.
Winnipeg Jets star Pierre-Luc Dubois is a pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights. Normally, being a restricted free agent is a team advantage but in this case Dubois can file for arbitration and simply accept a one-year award.
That would put the Jets in a pickle. It leaves them worrying if they can sign him and buy up some of those UFA years.
Watching Dubois walk away for nothing would be disastrous for the Jets organization.
NHL Rumors: Pierre-Luc Dubois
On the latest 32 Thoughts segment for HNIC, Elliotte Friedman expanded on the situation.
“There’s been a lot of rumors about some of the changes they may or may not make,” Friedman said. “I think one scenario that a lot of people will be watching is Pierre-Luc Dubois.
“He’s up for a new contract and has two years before unrestricted free agency. So he’s in a situation where he has some real power over his future. And if the Jets don’t feel like they can sign him long term this is going to be a situation to watch.”
Dubois, 23, has had a good year despite the Jets being on the outs. In 78 games, he’s posted 27 goals and 58 points.
This is the final year of a two-year deal he signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2019-20 for $10 million ($5M AAV).
Dubois was traded along with a draft pick from Columbus to Winnipeg in exchange for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic.
NHL Rumors: Chicago Blackhawks
One of the most interesting teams this summer will be the Chicago Blackhawks, who are going to get younger via the draft and trades.
There’s been plenty of talk regarding both Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Multiple reports indicate that each of them will meet with GM Kyle Davidson about their future after the season. You can also add Alex DeBrincat as possible trade bait.
One league source said recently they wouldn’t be shocked if DeBrincat and Kane were shopped this summer, too. There isn’t any indication yet that Davidson has any plans to do that, but those are the types of strategies that usually come with a rebuild. It’s not about what the team looks like today, but how good they can be in the future.The Athletic (subscription required)
When it comes to Kane and Toews, each will have to waive their no-move clauses and the Hawks must eat 50% of the $10.5M cap hit for the final year of their deals.
As for DeBrincat, I just don’t see it unless the package is overwhelming.
NHL Rumors: Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights are on the brink of elimination which could mean a bunch of offseason changes. I would even say that the jobs of GM Kelly McCrimmon and head coach Peter DeBoer aren’t safe.
However, before we get there, the mystery behind Robin Lehner just gets more confusing.
Vegas recently refuted a report by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan that goaltender Lehner was going to have season-ending surgery.
On Saturday, the team posted a statement regarding their number one goalie.
“Robin Lehner will not be on the ice for practice as he takes an additional maintenance day. We are hopeful that he will be available for Sunday night’s game.”
He did indeed dress as the backup and according to Friedman it sounds like Lehner was hurt by criticism of his play and decided he wanted to shut it down for the season. The Knights were able to smooth things over and it appears surgery is on hold…for now.
Lehner has 3 years remaining at $5M AAV with a modified no-trade clause. It would not be a shock if he’s moved in the offseason.
NHL Free Agent Frenzy Tracker 2022 Offseason