Outside of Patrick Kane wanting to be a member of the New York Rangers, the worst-kept secret in the NHL is Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois wanting to be a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
These rumors started during the 2022 off-season when Dubois’s agent mentioned how his client would like to play for the Canadiens one-day. From their things took off. While Dubois has downplayed those comments fitting into Rick Bowness‘s system very nicely, once the season ends for the Jets the restricted free agent has a big decision to make.
The Winnipeg Jets currently sit in the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Winnipeg sits five points up on the Nashville Predators and six points on the Calgary Flames. For a majority of the season, the Jets have been in a playoff position and Pierre-Luc Dubois has been a big reason why.
This season, Dubois currently has 57 points (24 goals and 33 assists). He is on pace to break his assist and point records and potentially his goals mark too. Since coming over in the Patrik Laine trade, Dubois has fit in nicely with the Winnipeg Jets. Last season, he recorded 60 points one off his career high of 61 when he was with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
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In addition, Dubois has seen assumed a bigger role for the Jets in Rick Bowness’s system. And as TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger stated on TSN 690 Radio, Bowness is doing everything in his power to make sure Dubois stays in Winnipeg.
Though recently Dubois has dealt with injuries, this was a big year for him as Dreger went on to say.
“This is a pivotal year for the Jets and specifically for Pierre-Luc Dubois. Not like he wants out of Winnipeg per se, but he wanted this season to really make sure that he was willing to commit or whether he wants to see what’s available to him as a free agent. That is the reality of the situation.”
If the Winnipeg Jets can make the playoffs and win a round maybe even two, that may be crucial for Dubois to stay in Winnipeg unless he has his mind made up already that he wants out of Winnipeg. But as noted, Dubois’s play has been really good this season and he is back to playing hard for his teammates and the coach.
“Winnipeg will throw everything at Pierre-Luc Dubois to try to extend him,” Dreger went on to say. “It will come down to what Dubois wants to do. If he does not want to sign long-term in Winnipeg, I don’t think they have a choice. They got to consider trading him. I think… I know the Montreal Canadiens are at the top of the list.”
Making the playoffs is not only crucial to Dubois staying but to other players as well. The Jets will make Dubois the priority, but what about Mark Scheifele? His name as Dreger notes is out there still. And if Dubois does not sign, do the Jets move Scheifele as well or do they try to lock up him even longer? And what about goaltender Connor Hellebuyck?
Pierre-Luc Dubois is a major domino in what happens this offseason for the Jets, but it begins with making the Stanley Cup Playoffs first. That very well could help decide the fate of the Winnipeg Jets off-season.