An outing with Cole Caufield, Jack Hughes, Trevor Zegras and P.K. Subban on the sidelines of the Montreal Grand Prix. That’s all it took to rekindle the flames of rumours surrounding Pierre-Luc Dubois’ potential arrival with the Montreal Canadiens. The clichés have spoken, Dubois is coming to Montreal!
Not so fast, folks. As the saying goes, don’t put the cart before the horse. Besides, who in Quebec still uses oxen to pull their plough? Aside from this reflection on the theme of agriculture in our forefathers’ time, there’s plenty to talk about, and the participants in La Presse and 98.5’s Sortie de zone podcast didn’t hold back too much on the subject.
Sortie de zone, season 4 | Episode 68 : Too many centers? https://t.co/Ul9PIcOyxq
– La Presse Sports (@LaPresse_Sports) June 20, 2023
For Stéphane Waite, Pierre-Luc Dubois is a yes, but under certain conditions. One of the conditions is pretty much the same as the rest of us: not having to pay too much to acquire him. After all, we’re all thinking that if he really wants to end up in Montreal, he could very well sign a new one-season deal to join the team in the summer of 2024, when he’ll finally become an uncompensated free agent.
Except that, all of a sudden, the Los Angeles Kings would also be quite active in the matter. Whether this is a tactic to hurt the Canadiens, Marc Bergevin’s former club and now Rod Blake’s advisor, to raise the stakes, or real interest, no one really knows at this point.
What we do know, however, is that the risk may be too great to pass up the opportunity when it presents itself. Kent Hughes must make a serious offer to acquire Dubois. Serious, but not too high, and that worries Stéphane Waite.
“Pierre-Luc Dubois, how much is he going to cost in terms of prospects, picks or young players and how much does he want in terms of money?” – Stéphane Waite
For the former CH goaltending coach, if the 24-year-old center wants more money than Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, we’d better pass. At that price, it’s a definite no!
Personally, I’m also inclined to say no if it’s Dubois’ wish to get more than $8 million a season and, by extension, become the team’s highest-paid player ahead of the captain and ace scorer.
I’d like to ask your opinion. How much would you be comfortable paying Pierre-Luc Dubois? More or less than Suzuki and Caufield?
If Hughes offers more to Pierre-Luc Dubois, a guy who has never played for the team, than to Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, how will the latter react? Would this be the beginning of the end for the team’s careful and harmonious payroll management?
It’s a situation that needs to be dealt with carefully.
Pierre-Luc Dubois: a risky bet for Kent Hughes | JDM https://t.co/xxC9Iemt3S
– Marc de Foy (@FoyMarc) June 20, 2023
It wasn’t long before the latter was overtaken in terms of impact and performance level by Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Both wanted to be paid in line with their importance to the team, and as a result, the team in the Queen City ended up with 3 players earning close to $11 million, which is too much… way too much!
In hindsight, it’s clear that the formula sank the organization, as it struggled to surround its big guns with competent players. In the end, they made it past the first round, but couldn’t go much further after that, and Kyle Dubas was shown the way out.
I rarely say this, but there’s something to be learned from the Maple Leafs in all this, and the Dubois file is an opportunity to see if Kent Hughes has learned his lesson.