NHL Rumors: Winnipeg Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois trade or offer sheet?

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The NHL Rumors Mill is wondering if Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois could be hitting the trade block this summer.

Dubois, 23, had a solid season despite overall team struggles. In 81 games, he posted 28 goals and 60 points but has so much promise that many teams would fall head over heels to try and acquire him.

As a pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights the Jets are in the driver’s seat. Of course, Dubois can file for arbitration and simply accept a one-year award which puts Winnipeg in an undesirable position as they would like to lock him up longer term.

He will be 24 years of age on June 24.

NHL Rumors: No contract talks with Pierre-Luc Dubois

“There’s been a lot of rumors about some of the changes they may or may not make,” Elliotte Friedman said back in April. “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 was traded along with a draft pick from Columbus to Winnipeg in exchange for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic. He just wrapped up a two-year deal signed with the Blue Jackets in 2019-20 that came with a $5M AAV.

On Saturday night, Jeff Marek provided the latest update which will not make Jets’ fans too happy.

“I chatted with (Jets’ GM) Kevin Cheveldayoff,” Marek noted. “They haven’t started contract negotiations with Pierre-Luc Dubois.”

If the Jets don’t think they can reach a deal for Dubois, it’s possible he could be moved for picks and prospects.

A possible offer-sheet for Dubois?

pierre-luc dubois
Mar 6, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois (80) skates around New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) during the second period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dubois has until July 17th to file for salary arbitration. From July 13th, when free agency opens and until that date he could sign an offer-sheet.

We saw it be successful with the Carolina Hurricanes signing Jesperi Kotkaniemi from the Montreal Canadiens last summer. Could we see it happen again?

Murat Ates, who covers the Jets for The Athletic seems to think it’s possible. One team he feels might do it are the Habs.

If Montreal and Dubois do come to an agreement, Winnipeg will get a week to match the Canadiens’ offer. If the Jets choose to match, great: they get to keep Dubois for whatever dollars and term he was happy to play for in Montreal. If the offer is so ridiculous that Winnipeg can’t or won’t match it, the Jets will be entitled to compensation.

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Dubois is a native of Quebec, and the Canadiens would love nothing more than to make him their top center for next season. VP of Hockey Ops Jeff Gorton had interest in trading for Dubois when he was with the New York Rangers.