The disappointing finish to the Winnipeg Jets season is generating conjecture about possible changes in the front office, behind the bench and for the roster. Discussions over a new contract for Pierre-Luc Dubois will be among their off-season priorities.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman believes Dubois' contract talks will be worth watching. He indicated the 23-year-old center is a restricted free agent sitting two years away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Friedman speculated Dubois' name could be “out there” in this summer's trade market if the two sides fail to agree to a long-term extension.
Cap Friendly shows Dubois completing a two-year contract with an annual cap hit of $5 million and an actual salary this season of $6.65 million. It'll cost the Jets $6 million to qualify his rights but he could seek much more than that on his next contract. They have over $66 million invested in 15 active players for 2022-23 with all their other core players signed.
Dubois' stock rose after taking over the first-line center duties from a struggling Mark Scheifele earlier in this season. He's matched his career-best of 27 goals and sits only three points from matching his career-high 61 points in 2018-19. Dubois would become their automatic choice as a full-time replacement for Scheifele if the latter ends up traded this summer.
Considering the Jets sent Patrik Laine to Columbus for Dubois, it seems unlikely they'll shop him this summer. However, that could depend on whether Kevin Cheveldayoff remains as general manager.
The Winnipeg Sun's Scott Billeck and Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press recently mused over the possibility of ownership replacing Cheveldayoff. His potential successor could have different plans in store for the Jets that might not include Dubois.