Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella said that Pierre-Luc Dubois' reported desire for a trade will be handled similarly to the Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin situations from a few seasons ago.
#CBJ coach John Tortorella says Pierre-Luc Dubois’ desire for a trade will be handled similarly, in one respect, to how Bobrovsky / Panarin played out two seasons ago. They’ll confront it as a group and deal with it out in the open, he said.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 3, 2021
Tortorella said the organization will confront it as a group and deal with it out in the open.
Formerly a restricted free agent, Dubois and the Blue Jackets agreed to a two-year bridge deal earlier this week. Before the agreement on Dec. 31, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported Dubois may have his eyes elsewhere.
"...there are rumblings from a few teams around the league that Dubois may be looking for a change of scenery. Maybe wishful thinking on their part. But stay tuned on this one," LeBrun tweeted.
Pierre-Luc Dubois is not in Columbus as camp approaches and remains unsigned. And now there are rumblings from a few teams around the league that Dubois may be looking for a change of scenery. Maybe wishful thinking on their part. But stay tuned on this one.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 31, 2020
The Athletic's Aaron Portzline wrote that Dubois' camp preferred a bridge deal arrangement because it would give general manager Jarmo Kekalainen "time to seek a trade for Dubois and get a return that is commensurate with his value" and "keeps Dubois from being locked in with Columbus long-term."
Dubois was allowed to talk to other teams as a restricted free agent this past off-season, but did not sign an offer sheet. Portzline writes Dubois' desire to leave the Blue Jackets was made clear in discussion with other teams, although Columbus is hoping Dubois will have a change of heart now that negotiations are in the rear view mirror.
The 22-year-old was selected No. 3 overall in the 2016 draft and has produced good numbers over three NHL seasons. Dubois had 18 goals and 31 assists last season in 70 games and has 158 points (65 goals, 93 assists) over the course of 234 career NHL contests.