Patrik Laine proves that Hughes should not wait too long before acquiring Dubois and that says a lot

Published July 26, 2022 at 1:29 PM

On January 23, 2021, Patrik Laine was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets with Jack Roslovic in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 3rd round pick. A difficult year followed for the Finn in Ohio as he accumulated 10 goals and 11 assists for a total of 21 points in 45 games with his new team.

As Laine said the following summer after the departure of coach John Tortorella, the relationship with the latter was not at its best. Laine was quick to point to "Torts" fixation with defensive play as the reason for his 15-game scoreless streak. Here's what he said at the time:

"I guess every coach has their rules about it, but on the other hand, you always hope you can build on your strengths. Tortorella wasn't giving anyone freedom, but forwards want to create things offensively. You have to cheat a little bit if you want to be one of the good scorers in the league. And that's just not possible if the coaches don't think that way. Regardless, I did what I was told." - Patrik Laine

All that to say, Laine didn't seem happy at all in Columbus. He will have, some time after passing this comment, accepted the qualifying offer of the Blue Jackets. From that moment, many thought that the forward simply wanted to run out the clock before becoming an uncompensated free agent in the summer of 2023.

Doesn't it make you think about what the guy who was involved in his transaction, Pierre-Luc Dubois, is doing now? Many think that the Quebecer is just waiting for his autonomy, which will come in two years, to join the Habs. A strategy that can have its limits, as Laine has shown.

Indeed, everyone thought that Laine would use this strategy again this summer when he decided not to go to salary arbitration. However, he signed a lucrative four-season deal valued at $34.8M ($8.7M annual average). This is to say that he really enjoyed his season with the organization as Tortorella left and his role with the team grew.

A coaching change is exactly what happened this summer in Winnipeg when Rick Bowness was hired earlier this month. He will certainly bring a new atmosphere to the club, something that Dubois may very well enjoy.

The Jets' number 80, who is coming off a 28-goal, 32-assist season with 60 points in 81 games, could very well blossom under Bowness, which would increase his value and who knows, his love for the team. He might also enjoy playing with, who knows, Kyle Connor and a certain Cole Perfetti. If he recovers from his shoulder injury suffered last winter, the young man will certainly have a bigger role in the organization, and could very well take advantage of Dubois in order to also blossom.

If Kent Hughes really wants to get his hands on Dubois, he should take advantage of the opportunity and lower his value under the circumstances, while his agent has painted him into a corner. Who knows what could happen in the next two years?
July 26   |   450 answers
Patrik Laine proves that Hughes should not wait too long before acquiring Dubois and that says a lot

Who's the better player?

Patrik Laine22650.2 %
Pierre-Luc Dubois22449.8 %
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