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Pierre-Luc Dubois loses Kings center spot

Auteur: Dose
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Pierre-Luc Dubois loses Kings center spot
Last summer, the Kings pulled out all the stops and made a deal with the Winnipeg Jets for Pierre-Luc Dubois. In return, the Kings traded Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari and a second-round pick in 2024, while offering PLD an eight-year, $8.5-million-a-year contract.

It was a big gamble for the Kings, but they were banking on Dubois solidifying a center line that was already counting on Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault.

Now, a few months later, the gamble is already looking like a disaster for the Kings. Dubois (19 points in 42 games, -11 record) is already the target of a ton of criticism in Los Angeles, where many dislike his lazy play and lack of commitment.

No, he’s not getting back on track after a difficult start to the season.

All this forces the Kings to find solutions, and after sending him to the bottom-six for a while, Dubois sees his role change: he’s back in the top-6… but he’ll be doing it on the wing.

Dubois will be used to the left of Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe against the Rangers tonight. Quinton Byfield, who occupied the position, will be sent to the center of the third trio, where Alex Laferriere and Jaret Anderson-Dolan will be his wingers.

Clearly, Los Angeles is doing everything in its power to revive Dubois. With the Kings having won just one of their last 11 games, they’re looking for a recipe to revive the club’s big guns, and it’s on the wing that Dubois, who has two goals and five points during his team’s ugly sequence, will try to help the Kings out of the quagmire.

And the Quebecer’s five points have come in three games. Once again, it’s back to the old story: when Dubois plays up to his potential, he can dominate… but he doesn’t do it often enough.

So, we’ll see if PLD can revive his season by playing on the wing, but it’s clearly not working at center for the guy who has just 19 points in 42 games, an unacceptable performance for a guy who’s getting $8.5M this season and for each of the next seven seasons. It’s a contract that’s really hurting the Kings ahead of the trade deadline.

To think that the Habs could have given away Kirby Dach, who scored 38 points in 58 games last year (a pace far superior to Dubois’s current pace) and earns only $3.4M per year, for the Quebecer’s services. So far, Kent Hughes seems to have avoided disaster.

In a gust

– What a player.

– Incredible.

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– Logan Couture gives an update on the injury that has kept him sidelined since the start of the season. He’ll play his first game of the season today.

– To be continued.

– That would be something.

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