Dubois, Jackets Reach Boiling Point

by | Jan 22, 2021

Dubois, Jackets Reach Boiling Point

by | Jan 22, 2021

Whether it was the pre-season trade request or, a rather candid head coach speaking out about his star player. It could have harkened back to the first round of last year’s bubble that saw coach and center verbally jawing at each other on the bench. Whatever it was, Thursday appeared to be the point of no return.

The less than inspiring effort by Blue Jackets’ star center, Pierre-Luc Dubois, led to the forward seeing just 3:55 of ice-time including zero shifts in the second and third period of Thursday’s 3-2 OT loss to the Lightning. Jackets’ head coach, John Tortorella declined to elaborate on the reasons behind the decision and Dubois was not available for comment in the immediate aftermath and now, it appears that a trade is inching closer and closer.


“I got to call them as I see them,” Tortorella said. “I’ve coached (Dubois) like this for a couple years as far as trying to get him to get some growth in his game and growth as a pro. Nothing changes here. There’s more spotlight on it, I get that and I get you guys have to ask me that, but I think you’re asking the wrong guy. I’m just a coach trying to make it work with a hockey club trying to win games. The person you keep talking about–you should ask him.”

Dubois, who declined to comment on Thursday, was available on Friday morning and though he did not want to publicly discuss the reasons related to his request out, he acknowledged his personal dissatisfaction with his own game.

“I hold myself to a high standard,” Dubois said. “I know what level I can play at and you know, there’s not a lot right now that I’m satisfied with. I know I can take a step up in every aspect of my game.

“I can be a better player, I know that. My play hasn’t been to the level it can be at. Then what happened last night–that’s the coach’s decision and the coach’s are paid to coach and the players are paid to play. There’s not much I can control in that decision.”

Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella and team during pregame introductions.

Just who might be the parties involved in the imminent trade? The Jets are among a long list of teams that are believed to be watching the situation closely. Others including Anaheim, Minnesota, Montreal and the Rangers have been linked to the leading scorer from last season, helping guide Columbus to a 33-win 2019-20 campaign following the loss of Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky in the offseason, both of which publicly acknowledged a desire to move on from the organization. Fair to say, the fanbase is getting fatigued with the revolving door and inability to keep star players on board.

Dubois was drafted third overall in 2016, a pick that surprised many as the club opted to take a shot at the center over Finnish winger, Jesse Puljujarvi. Since his draft year, Dubois ranks fifth in games played and sixth in career points.

At 22, GM Jarmo Kekalainen has to be looking at a hockey trade as anything else surely downgrades the offensive potency of the Jackets. That makes the urgency of this deal all the more intriguing.



Inconsistency Plagues the Kings

Inconsistency Plagues the Kings

The LA Kings might be a bit artificially high in their placement in the Pacific right now, having played as many as three games more than the teams which surround them. But they are on pace to make the playoffs, bolstered in part by their good home record, which stands at 6-4-0. Their last ten games, in addition, notch them at 5-3-2.

read more
Judging overreactions at the NHL's quarter mark: 70 goals for McDavid, Bruins the Cup favorite?

With around 20 games in the books for all 32 teams, the hot takes are flying. What's real and what's not? We're here to break it all down. [...]

When will Alex Ovechkin reach 800 goals? Upcoming games, plus highlights

The Washington Capitals star is projected to reach the 800-goal mark this season. Follow along as he chases down this accomplishment. [...]

Bruins win in OT, set NHL record in the process

The Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime Friday, setting the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with the win. [...]

Preds postpone 2 games due to water main break

The Nashville Predators postponed home games scheduled for Friday and Saturday because of a water main break that soaked Bridgestone Arena. [...]

Maple Leafs legend, Hall of Famer Salming dies

Toronto Maple Leafs legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Borje Salming has died. He was 71 and living with Lou Gehrig's disease. [...]

Leafs end Devils' team record-tying 13-game run

The Toronto Maple Leafs snapped New Jersey's 13-game winning streak on Wednesday night, 2-1, leaving the Devils one win shy of a franchise record. [...]

Rangers trade enforcer Reaves to Wild for pick

The Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Wild on Wednesday for a 2025 fifth-round pick. [...]

Maple Leafs put D Rielly (knee) on injured reserve

The injury-riddled Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury on Tuesday, a day after the veteran was hurt in a collision with… [...]

Bergeron reaches 1,000th point with assist in win

Patrice Bergeron got his 1,000th career point with a second-period assist, becoming the 94th player in NHL history to reach the milestone. [...]

'This kid's a player': Matty Beniers is making a big impact in Seattle

The 20-year old center is excelling on and off the ice and appears on his way to becoming a franchise cornerstone for the Kraken. [...]

Ever wonder what it would be like if your everyday car was a ZAMBONI?!?!?

Wonder no longer…

Check out The Zambonis' latest hit, "Slow Whip"!