Rumors persist linking Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Montreal Canadiens. The 24-year-old restricted free agent has reportedly told the club of his intention to test the free-agent market in 2024. His agent, meanwhile, indicated his club would one day love to play for the Canadiens.
Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun reported Dubois was at the 2022 NHL draft in Montreal anticipating a trade. However, a deal failed to materialize because Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff sought a hefty return. Montreal Hockey Now's Marco D'Amico assumed Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield may have been part of Cheveldayoff's asking price.
The Canadiens have no interest in parting Suzuki or Caufield given their value to the rebuilding franchise. D'Amico wondered if the Jets would be interested in a package offer that included recently-acquired center Kirby Dach.
Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette doubted Hughes has an interest in Dubois, pointing out the trouble he went through to acquire Dach. During the draft's first round, the Canadiens GM shipped defenseman Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders for the 13th overall pick, then flipped it to the Chicago Blackhawks for Dach.
Dubois, meanwhile, didn't file for salary arbitration by last Sunday's deadline. That makes him eligible to receive offer sheets but it's unlikely he'll get one from the cap-strapped Canadiens. He could accept his one-year, $6-million qualifying offer from the Jets by this Friday's deadline or continue negotiating a new contract.
The Jets could ink Dubois to a one-year deal and spend the coming season trying to convince him to sign a longer-term extension. A trade remains possible at this point but it's unlikely a deal gets done unless Cheveldayoff receives an irresistible offer.