Report: Blake Wheeler buy-out included as part of “beast” trade with Pierre-Luc Dubois
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Report: Blake Wheeler buy-out included as part of “beast” trade with Pierre-Luc Dubois

The latest from NHL insider Darren Dreger



UPDATE: TSN insider Darren Dreger reports that a contract buy-out for former Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler is likely coming in order to facilitate a trade with the Los Angeles Kings involving star forward Pierre-Luc Dubois.

More from Dreger:

Read below for our earlier report on this developing story.

According to a report from Winnipeg Jets insider Murat Ates of The Athletic, the Jets are 'closing in' on a deal with the Los Angeles Kings that will see forward Pierre Luc-Dubois with Jansen Harkins head to the Kings in exchange for Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, and Rasmus Kupari as the 'key pieces' of the deal.

From Ates:

We'll wait for official confirmation before judging the deal but... it looks to me like Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff pulled off an absolute steal here! Sure, I like Dubois as a player but Vilardi, Iafallo and Kupari aren't exactly chopped liver either...

More insight from TSN insiders Darren Dreger and Chris Johnston:

The 23 year old Vilardi has all the makings of a player who is about to break out following a stellar campaign with the Kings. He managed 23 goals and 41 points in just 63 games last season, his best NHL season by far. He's a former 11th overall pick and at 6'3" and weighing in at 215 pounds, he's essentially just a B-level Dubois himself, with the potential to be even greater. Throw Iafallo and Kupari into this deal and I can't see how the Jets come out as losers in the deal presented by Ates.

The 29 year old Iafallo put up a respectable 14 goals and 36 points in 59 games with the Kings last season, playing mostly in a support role on the 3rd line with some 2nd line duty mixed in. 23 year old Kupari is an intriguing piece too. The former 20th overall pick put up just 15 points in 66 games with the Kings last season, but has produced well in the AHL with the Ontario Reign. There's reason to believe that he could blossom into a legitimate top six forward with the right opportunity.

Again though, we'll wait for official confirmation before declaring a clear winner on this potential blockbuster.

As for Dubois, he'll be an absolute stud for the Kings, but at what cost? $9 million a season on a long-term deal plus players, picks and prospects to acquire him? That seems awfully steep to me for a guy who has never hit 30 goals or 70 points in a full NHL season. Sure, he's a talented player but I'm not sure he's the superstar that he personally sees himself as.

Source: Darren Dreger