If there is one thing we know from the National Hockey League is that if you’re a player who wants out of his team, you better look good out there to get many clubs after your services. It seems like forward Pierre-Luc Dubois didn’t get the memo. While the spotlight shines brighter on him, on Thursday night, it was all for the wrong reasons.
Dubois finished with just 3:55 of ice time in Thursday’s overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, after he seemed to give up on a puck battle in the offensive zone in the first period. According to team insider Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Dubois “took nearly 10 seconds to go from the far end of the rink to the Blue Jackets’ bench to make a change.”
After the loss, Tortorella said it’s up to the players to earn their minutes by playing “the proper way.” If you wonder what Dubois had to say about his performance, or lack thereof, and why he is taking on this attitude, well, he was requested for post-game interviews, but declined through a club spokesman.
The thing is that prior to training camp when he demanded to be moved, Dubois told reporters he would be a “good teammate” and a “good player” as the Blue Jackets attempt to trade him. Last night’s performance raised eyebrows, and Dubois is just ruining his reputation…
Can you imagine the type of heat he’d get in Montreal from both French and English reporters for giving up on an easy play? For sitting on the bench and giving himself a manicure? He would get roasted so fast, we’d be eating him for a midnight snack! He couldn’t get away with declining interviews.
Tortorella said Thursday he’s not coaching Dubois any differently now from how he did before the trade request was placed. It is up to the young forward to show he is a good player and a good teammate. For now, his actions speak otherwise.
It is believed that more than 12 teams have checked in on Dubois, many of whom have expressed significant interest in acquiring him. The Anaheim Ducks, Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Arizona Coyotes are among those teams interested, though we wonder if Dubois’ attitude has turned them off.
After all, it is a hefty price to land the centerman : it is suggested that a package deal should include a young, NHL-proven talent with prospects and a first-round pick also talking points.
For that price, Dubois better perform. It is up to him to get teams so interested in his services that a trade will take place sooner than later. We can see how this must come to an end in Columbus. According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, what happened on the ice last night has not deter suitors from Dubois.
“That didn’t change anything for me,” one NHL GM said Friday. “I don’t love the look of it, I'll be honest, but those who know the player say he’s a great kid. He’s a great player. Lots of players are unhappy in their situation. Some wear that on their sleeve and I’m okay with that.”