Blue Jackets Send Dubois to Winnipeg in Blockbuster NHL Trade

Blue Jackets Send Dubois to Winnipeg in Blockbuster NHL Trade

The Columbus Blue Jackets have pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade involving star forward Pierre-Luc Dubois.

On Saturday, Jackets’ GM Jarmo Kekalainen shipped Dubois to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for star forward Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic. A third round draft pick in 2022 also goes to Winnipeg. This becomes the first big trade in the NHL since the shortened season began on January 13.

The trade comes after Dubois, the leading scorer for Columbus last season, logged just 3:55 of ice time in Thursday night’s overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The lack of ice time for Dubois was supposedly due to the 22-year-old publicly stating his unhappiness in Columbus, and his lack of work ethic with the team to begin the season.

In Jackets’ head coach John Tortorella’s press conference following Thursday’s loss, the point he seemed to be making regarding his star centerman is that Dubois seems to doing the same thing James Harden did for the Houston Rockets, to the point where he “puts himself first and barely cares about the team to the point where everyone in the organization wants him gone.”

Dubois heads to Winnipeg with just one goal in five games in Columbus, which he put in the back of the net during the team’s 3-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings on January 18. The disgruntled young forward looks to get a fresh start with the Jets, and will likely slot into the lineup for the team after completing the NHL’s required quarantine period from travelling between countries.

Laine will join the Blue Jackets with 2 goals and 1 assist so far this season. The 2016 second-overall pick was the center of trade rumours throughout the NHL this offseason. Roslovic requested a trade from the Jets at the beginning of the season.

Dubois carries a cap hit of $5M through 2021-22, after which he will become a restricted free agent. Laine will also become a restricted free agent after this season.

Other teams that were said to be heavily pursuing Dubois included the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers.

Featured photo courtesy of Aaron Doster / USA Today Sports

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