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Kings: adding Pierre-Luc Dubois may not be the answer

At this point, it’s not hard to imagine that the Los Angeles Kings are likely to snatch up Pierre-Luc Dubois’ services. At least, that’s what it looks like.

And that’s regardless of the contract terms that follow.

Nothing’s done yet, but let’s start from the premise that Dubois is under long-term contract in Los Angeles. We have to ask ourselves: is this really what the club needs?

I love Pierre-Luc Dubois, and I’m the first to want him in Montreal under the right conditions. But when it comes to Los Angeles, that’s really the question right now.

And why is that? Because of their center line.

Right now, the Los Angeles Kings are on the verge of breaking the Habs’ hearts by having not only Pierre-Luc Dubois, but also Phillip Danault at center. With Anze Kopitar, it’s excellent.

That said, you know as well as I do that such a trio of center players is expensive by the pound for 2023-2024. With Anze Kopitar at $10M, Phillip Danault at $5.5M and Dubois potentially at $9M, that’s… expensive.

We’re talking close to $25M for three center players. Unless Dubois is really only signing for one year before signing long-term, when Kopitar will be making less money?

But hey. That’s not the point.

The problem is that the Kings have spent years struggling to draft good young men for the future. But now, not only will some of them surely be traded to Winnipeg or elsewhere, but others will be stuck on the roster.

And that’s not counting the fact that, by the time the young talent hits the cash register, Rob Blake may run out of room under the ceiling to pay them. He’ll have developed them (the clubé-école is bursting with talent) to take no advantage.

The problem is, the Kings won’t be able to afford Dubois and a goalie. Does the club want to take the chance to buy a goalie at a discount and do like the Avalanche of 2022 and Vegas of 2023? Perhaps.

But I don’t know if it’s really that effective.

On the Drette su’l tape podcast, where Charles Pellerin, Snake and David Beaucage set the table for the draft, the topic shifted to the Kings. And clearly, Simon Boisvert doesn’t like the way things have developed in L.A.

Blocking young players has meant that the California club has lost for years for nothing. As long as we’re not playing young talent, why didn’t we “buy a club” in 2020, for example?

What I want to add is that signing Danault, Dubois and Kevin Fiala too often (even though I think their club is beautiful and I love all three players) means that the club doesn’t benefit from the years of discounting young players. In my opinion, you shouldn’t ONLY sign outside talent.

More and more, we’re talking about taking advantage of the years when young stars are on their entry-level contracts to break into the playoffs. The Kings want to do the opposite.

I just wonder how they’re going to build a third or fourth trio that’s going to end up beating the Oilers, for example, if three forwards take up nearly 30% of the payroll. #MapleLeafs

And I haven’t even mentioned the blue line, where Drew Doughty earns $11M, and the net, where a solution is needed.

I’m not saying that the Kings will go to the wall if Dubois earns a lot of money. But in the long term, blocking young players isn’t effective, and that’s why it’s good to see Kent Hughes sticking to his game plan.

Because if Dubois is added, whether by trade or through the free-agent market in a year’s time, the club won’t have another player – active – above the $9 million mark, and that won’t lock up many young center players.

Remember, depth wins championships and I just don’t know if the Kings can afford all the ingredients with Dubois.

In gusto

– It’s understandable.

– A name to keep an eye on.

– Well done.

– Seen the same.

– That’s something.

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