NHL Rumors: Pierre-Luc Dubois destined to play for Montreal Canadiens

pierre-luc dubois
Jun 7, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) makes a glove save in front of Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois (13) during the first period in game four of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

It’s probably always been Pierre-Luc Dubois plan to play for the Montreal Canadiens. Heck, it’s probably been a plan for the Habs’ too.

That strategy was officially set in motion when Dubois told the Winnipeg Jets he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2024, which assuredly ends his time in Manitoba. The pending RFA is still unsigned and will likely ink nothing more than a two-deal.

His desire to play for his hometown team is the worst kept secret in the NHL. Dubois is a native of Ste-Agathe-Des-Monts, Quebec which is just an hour drive outside of Montreal. Now it seems that both he and his agent, Pat Brisson are doing what they can to expedite that move.

“Montreal is a city he would probably … I can talk about it because he doesn’t have a contract at the moment — he’s a restricted free agent,” Brisson told TVA Sports in French on Wednesday. “Montreal is a place, a city he’d like to play in. That’s all I can say about that.”

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NHL Rumors: Pierre-Luc Dubois

nhl rumors
Jun 6, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (13) during the warm-up session before the game three against Montreal Canadiens of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Pierre-Luc Dubois is an RFA that’s eligible to become a UFA in two more seasons. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the one that broke the news of his plans to reach unrestricted free agency in 2024 early in the offseason.

“Pierre-Luc Dubois has informed the Winnipeg Jets that his current plan is to test unrestricted free agency when eligible in the summer of 2024,” Friedman said. “Now the Jets have control of the process until then, and what we’re also hearing though is that they wish to keep him and have him as a Jet for a long time to come.”

Sportsnet

Dubois, 24, registered 28 goals and 60 points in 81 games this past season. He’s wrapping up a two-year deal with an AAV of $5M.

Since that news hit, interest in Dubois has come from several teams that featured the New York Rangers. They could not work out a package but at the same time, signing him longterm was also going to be difficult for them.

There were also reports that Dubois attended the draft in Montreal because he believed a trade to the Montreal Canadiens was in the works.

Although the never came to fruition, Radio-Canada Sports’ Martin Leclerc said that the Habs offered three players for Dubois’s negotiation rights. The Jets obviously didn’t feel it was enough.

The bottom line is that Dubois playing for the Montreal Canadiens is no longer a matter of IF. It’s become a matter of WHEN and that’s starting to look a lot sooner than 2024.