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Pierre-Luc Dubois: the Canadiens may not have what it takes to get him out of Winnipeg
For months, many people have been saying that all the Habs had to do was wait a year (summer 2024) to sign Quebecer Pierre-Luc Dubois for free instead of making a deal with the Jets.

And that’s despite the risk of waiting.

For my part, I’ve always been of the “things can change in a year” school, and I’ve always believed that if Kent Hughes really wants him, he should get him as soon as possible.

Not at any price, we agree, but still.

And now we learn that the player has no intention of playing in Winnipeg and wants stability. This means that if he’s traded to a place that makes him happy, he’s likely to put down roots there.

This is where the issue becomes complex.

After all, right now, it feels like the Jets will create a bidding war to trade him to a club Dubois wants to go to. We have a feeling that the club that picks him up will make a competitive offer to the player, who could well accept it.

And forget about the free agent process in 2024.

What we understand is that Dubois wants to play in Montreal, but he and his girlfriend (from Detroit) have other potential destinations in mind if Montreal doesn’t work out.

Picking up Dubois will require two things:

  • Convince Kevin Cheveldayoff with the best offer of the lot.
  • Convince Pierre-Luc Dubois of the terms of a long-term contract.

First, it’s important to understand that the Canadiens will have to convince the Jets to offer Dubois. And to do that, the club won’t be able to simply give away players who are in junior. It’s going to have to give away established guys, as we all know.

I don’t know to what extent Pat Brisson can influence the matter.

What Renaud Lavoie explained yesterday is that the Jets want to keep winning, as we know… and to do that, the other players who may want to leave will use the PLD transaction as a reference.

If the Jets get a player who can help them now, that’s going to make people happy… and if not, others might want to leave. That’s why the GM wants NHL parts in return for the Quebecer.

Does the Habs have what it takes to convince the Jets that their offer is the best? Will the Habs’ established players in the showcase be enough?

That remains to be seen.

After all, with Dubois likely to sign elsewhere, the Habs don’t necessarily have an edge . That’s why we don’t yet know if the CH has what it takes to convince Cheveldayoff to send him his protégé.

It all depends on the competition.

Now, let’s assume that the CH’s offer is the best. Will the Habs’ GM be willing to offer Dubois what he wants in order to sign him to a long-term contract?

After all, we recently learned that Dubois is asking for $9 million.

There are two aspects to consider in all of this. First, is Dubois asking for more because we always start higher than lower in salary negotiations? Perhaps, yes.

But also, is the club ready to go above Nick Suzuki ($7.875 M) if need be?

We know that Cole Caufield’s contract has shown that for a guy coming off his entry-level contract, the ceiling is Nick Suzuki – unless an exceptional comes along.

But with Pierre-Luc Dubois just one year away from full autonomy (as opposed to four and five years for Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield when their big contracts come into effect), could this be a game-changer?

Perhaps, yes… but who knows?

The Habs have some leeway right now if they want to sign Dubois, but I don’t know if that interferes with the projections the Habs have for the salary cap and what other youngsters will be asking for in a few years’ time.

We also have to wonder what the Habs think of Dubois’ attitude, as this will be his third team at (almost) 25 years of age. Is management, which wants to build a team culture, interested in the man?

In short, Dubois at home is not a foregone conclusion. As you can see, things can change quite quickly.

In brief

– Yes, MLS is growing in importance.

– What will the Mets do?

– Good point.

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