Anaheim Ducks Rumored to Still be Interested in Pierre-Luc Dubois

Pierre-Luc Dubois #13 of the Winnipeg Jets (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Pierre-Luc Dubois #13 of the Winnipeg Jets (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Earlier this season, we watched as the Pierre-Luc Dubois saga unfolded. After signing a 2-year contract extension at $5M, the young center requested a trade out of Columbus. Bob Murray and the Anaheim Ducks were one of the top teams rumored to be in trade talks with the Blue Jackets. But, in the end, the Winnipeg Jets won the bid, parting ways with Patrik Laine.

However, here we are at the season’s end and, according to Elliotte Friedman, there is a chance that the Anaheim Ducks could try and take another swing at acquiring the 22-year-old forward this summer.

"Murry wouldn’t go into potential moves, but did confirm Anaheim made a serious pitch for Pierre-Luc Dubois. (I’ve reported in the past it did not include Jamie Drysdale nor Trevor Zegras.) I do think the Ducks will try to take a big swing. They’ve got flexability, and another team pointed out that they could have an open space on its protected list depending on what the wanted to do. Going to be an interesting summer there."

If the Anaheim Ducks want to make a big move, this is the year to do it. They have approximately $22,555,000 in cap space this year, and outside of Ryan Getzlaf and the young RFA’s, they won’t have to spend a lot of money internally. The Ducks have also been rumored to have connections to Jack Eichel, another player who is desperate for a change of scenery.

The fan base seems torn on making a play for a player like Eichel. While he is a young, talented, franchise center, Eichel is also very expensive and the Ducks will have to part ways with quite a few assets. Buffalo isn’t going to let their Captain walk without getting something of equal value in return.

There is certainly a lot to consider when it comes to a blockbuster trade like that. However, a recent article published by contributor Chris Bushell reflects the opinions of a majority of the Pucks of a Feather staff on a potential Jack Eichel trade. This is why bringing in a player like Pierre-Luc Dubois might be a better, and safer, option for the Anaheim Ducks.

Zero Effort and Mid-Season Struggles Could be Cause for Concern

Before being traded to the Winnipeg Jets, Dubois ended his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets on a weird note. His zero effort attitude led to the young forward being benched by former head coach, John Tortorella. This does not look good for the 22-year-old; it gives the impression that he is immature and is perfectly okay playing a lazy game if things don’t go his way.

The good news is, people can grow. If there is an issue there with immaturity, Dubois is still very young and impressionable. So, there is hope that he will mature as he ages and plays longer in the league.

However, while I cannot say exactly where Dubois’ head was at during his final moments with the Blue Jackets, it is still unacceptable to put in zero effort. Sure, he’s still going to make $5M dollars a season no matter what, but that kind of attitude leaves a bad taste in the mouths of management, coaches, teammates, fans, and even other teams who might look to acquire him down the road.

Dubois also had his fair share of struggles after making the transition to playing for the Winnipeg Jets. Granted, the 2020-21 season came with its own host of issues. Nevertheless, the issues in Columbus, COVID restrictions, injuries, and trying to acclimate to a new team may have all played a factor in why he struggled.

The reality is, Dubois will more than likely bounce back next season. He knows what is expected of him and he knows that he did not live up to those expectations. Nevertheless, the 22-year-old forward knows that one bad season won’t define his career as long as he works hard to get back to being the player he, and everyone else, knows he can be.

Pierre-Luc Dubois Could Make Hockey in Anaheim Exciting Again

If you can look past the discrepancies in his work ethic, Pierre-Luc Dubois could be a great asset for the Anaheim Ducks. He is a proven 20+ goal scorer, but he has qualities that Bob Murray has a history of liking and also wants to bring to the team.

Dubois is a big guy who can play a physical game and the role of an agitator. He’s fast, and speed is something the Anaheim Ducks have lacked in the past. And, despite his attitude in Columbus and his struggles to get his feet under him in Winnipeg, he is, in fact, a hard-working player who produces results.

Former Site Expert for Union and Blue, William Espy, wrote an article several seasons ago comparing Dubois to a household name in the Anaheim Ducks organization, Ryan Getzlaf. They are similar in size and their rookie seasons are almost a mirror image of one another. The longer he plays in the league, the more he seems to be on a similar developmental path.

Dubois, although young, has been productive since jumping into the league, and he gets better as he ages. The Anaheim Ducks need to add players who can drive the offense and create scoring chances, and Dubois does just that.

As mentioned, he is a big guy who doesn’t shy away from those big hits. Nevertheless, while he doesn’t shy away from playing that physical game Bob Murray loves, he plays an excitingly fast style of hockey that has been absent from Anaheim. His speed and his passing are the bread and butter of his game.

Dubois is still young, and there are definitely areas of his game that he still needs to work on, but he is definitely the young and exciting type of player the Ducks could utilize at a fraction of the cost compared to Jack Eichel.

The Anaheim Ducks Might Have What the Winnipeg Jets Need

According to Murat Ates of the Atheltic, the biggest need the Winnipeg Jets must address in the offseason is their defense. This became more evident when they were swept by the Montreal Canadiens in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Winnipeg is in desperate need of a Top 4 blueliner, and maybe this is an area the Anaheim Ducks can help them out in.

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The Anaheim Ducks currently have a surplus of defensemen. Cam Fowler, Josh Manson, and Hampus Lindholm have been their core for years. However, the addition of Jamie Drysdale, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Haydn Fleury has given the Ducks a plethora of options. At some point, one or more of these players is going to be expendable.

Jamie Drysdale is the one player on that list that is more than likely untouchable. Kevin Shattenkirk probably doesn’t move the needle much for the Jets despite his Stanley Cup pedigree. Cam Fowler and Josh Manson both have modified no-trade clauses, but it wouldn’t be impossible for the Anaheim Ducks to move these two.

Hampus Lindholm, however, would probably be the most enticing option for the Jets and the easiest for the Anaheim Ducks to move. While Lindholm is a fan favorite, and one of the best defensemen on the team, if the Ducks are looking to get this rebuild moving, sometimes it comes at the sacrifice of your best players.

Nevertheless, as mentioned, Cam Fowler and Josh Manson are both options as well if they have Winnipeg on their trade list (they have a 4 team trade list and a 12 team trade list respecively.) The Winnipeg Jets, much like the Ducks, also have some flexibility to make room for these players, especially if Pierre-Luc Dubois is the package they’re willing to send back in return.

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