In not so surprising news, reports have once again surfaced that the Montreal Canadiens are interested in acquiring Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec native and Winnipeg Jets restricted free agent Pierre-Luc Dubois on the NHL trade market.
The latest report linking the Montreal Canadiens to Dubois came via Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet on Wednesday night and that set social media and Canadiens chat rooms on fire with NHL trade rumours. In a piece that was more focused on the New York Rangers being a dance partner on the NHL trade market, Wiebe mentioned the Canadiens suggesting that the Jets could spur on a bidding war between the Rangers and the Canadiens:
‘This isn’t to suggest a deal for Dubois is imminent, but with the Montreal Canadiens also having interest in the power forward, this could be as simple as trying to drum up a bidding war – since the Jets’ primary objective is to get a one-year contract done and then get to work on convincing the Montreal product to reconsider his long-range thinking and eventually sign on the dotted line and take his place as a foundational piece.’
It appears that Wiebe still thinks that the Winnipeg Jets can potentially sign the RFA who has already said that he plans to hit the unrestricted free agent in two years. On Friday, one NHL source confirmed to Montreal Hockey Now, that Dubois does indeed still want to do that but if the right fit could be found before that via a trade and new team for the third overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, he could change his mind and sign long-term with them. The bottom-line, it does not appear that Dubois has any interest in being that ‘foundational piece’ Wiebe suggested he could still be in Winnipeg and the NHL Betting odds are quite high that Dubois gets moved.
So now the question is, as my partner-in-scribe, Marco D’Amico wrote earlier this month, are the Montreal Canadiens willing to give up the boatload of picks and prospects it will take to outdo teams like the Rangers or will they stay the course with their rebuild?