NHL Salaries

Canadiens should sue Pierre-Luc Dubois if he becomes available

A disastrous 2021-22 campaign for the Montreal Canadiens is about to end happily and attention is about to turn to a busy offseason ahead for executive vice-president Jeff Gorton and general manager Kent Hughes. .

While much of the focus will be on the NHL Draft as well as offloading contracts from the current roster to mitigate the team’s salary cap crunch while acquiring more future assets in return , there are ways the Habs can improve for next season and beyond. One option is to inquire about the availability of Pierre-Luc Dubois who is set to become a restricted free agent after an impressive year with the Winnipeg Jets.

The perfect complement to Nick Suzuki

Elliotte Friedman recently reported that if Dubois was unwilling to sign a long-term extension with the Jets, he could enter the trade market this summer, two years after being tied to his home team before finally going to Winnipeg from the Columbus Blue Jackets. in exchange for Patrik Laine. The Habs now have better parts to make a deal with.

Pierre-Luc DuboisWinnipeg Jets
Pierre-Luc Dubois, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The 23-year-old, who has scored a career-high 28 goals this season, would be an ideal addition to the Canadiens’ center lineup for several reasons. Nick Suzuki is going to be the face of the franchise for a long time and needs to be well surrounded during his tenure on the wings, on the power play with a puck moving defenseman who can quarter the man advantage, and in the middle with constant production.

Adding Dubois would give the Habs a dynamic punch down the center in the long run and he would also bring the size they lacked.

The Habs could still draft a superior center

On Wednesday, the Canadiens had the best chance of selecting first overall at the NHL Draft in Montreal in July and are guaranteed a top-three pick.

Related: Canadiens secure potential deal between Drouin and Dubois

Even if they choose one of Shane Wright, Logan Cooley or another top center, Dubois would still be a very welcome acquisition and provide great depth at an important position when it comes to building a competitor. If a center is drafted, the player may not be ready to make the jump to the NHL right away and if he is, he could start on the third line instead of dealing with the pressure to produce in a role in the top six from the start. the door.

Shane WrightKingston Frontenacs
Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs (Brandon Taylor/OHL Images)

This would allow Hughes to potentially move Christian Dvorak’s contract, even though he has played much better under interim head coach Martin St. Louis, to create cap space and make Jake Evans a fourth-line center. very effective with still a lot of potential. tap into. Meanwhile, Ryan Poehling could be moved to the wing or used in a trade to improve the roster elsewhere. Needless to say, adding Dubois to the fold would create a lot of possibilities as well as a trickle down effect that would put some players in their ideal roles.

Go home

If the outpouring of emotion and support from across Quebec following the passing of Guy Lafleur has taught us anything, it’s how important local players are in this market, or at least the profound impact that they can have during their tenure with the Canadiens, especially on winning teams. It showed how much the fans missed that kind of connection with the players. Even though today’s game is very different, it’s something that has been lost over time, but it still matters and Montreal fans still want it.

Related: The Montreal Canadiens’ Top 3 Potential 2022 NHL Draft Targets

That’s not to say Dubois would need to be a hero of Lafleur proportions, but it would be fun to have him in the fold. Additionally, it has been open in the past about his desire to play in Montreal which does not happen every day.

Guy Lafleur Montreal Canadiens
Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

This very hypothetical situation won’t happen if the asking price doesn’t match what Hughes would be willing to pay for Dubois of course, the Habs’ deeper prospect pool and a plethora of draft picks to make a trade more plausible. now than before. The key is that he could be a crucial part of revamping the roster for years to come and not just a short-term fix.

He always had the impression that Dubois will be a member of the Canadiens at some point in his career and maybe that time will come sooner than expected.