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Canadiens Almost Signed Dubois To Offer Sheet



Montreal Canadiens trade target Dubois

The Montreal Canadiens organization has been interested in Pierre-Luc Dubois for years, almost dropping an offer sheet his way a couple of seasons ago.

On a recent episode of the Sick Podcast with Tony Marinaro, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic stopped by to talk about the Columbus Blue Jackets and shed some light on where things went wrong with Dubois.

According to Portzline, Dubois was under the impression he was leaving Columbus during the offseason of 2020 by way of a Canadiens offer sheet, which started the process of his eventual trade to the Winnipeg Jets.

“He wanted to be a Montreal Canadiens when he was a Columbus Blue Jacket,” said Portzline. “This is not a new desire for him. He was expecting an offer sheet from the Canadiens. If you remember, Jarmo Kekalainen made two deals at the 11th hour to clear cap space. The thing with offer sheets is, you don’t want your players signed to one and you want to set off the vibe that you will match it. I think Dubois thought he was getting out of Columbus on an offer sheet to Montreal and that’s where it all fell apart.”

An offer sheet for Dubois would have consisted of 2021 NHL Draft picks, likely the Canadiens’ 2021 1st-round pick, along with potentially their 2nd and 3rd-round picks, depending on the size of the offer.

Two of those selections were eventually used on top prospects Logan Mailloux and Riley Kidney.

It’s no secret that former general manager, Marc Bergevin, coveted Pierre-Luc Dubois for many years, dating back to the very day the Quebec native was drafted.

It was long rumoured that the Canadiens had a deal in place to move up in the 2016 NHL Draft to select the rugged forward, but he was ultimately snagged too early for the Canadiens to pull the trigger on a deal.

Since then, Dubois has been linked to the Canadiens almost every summer since then as a player that would fit the Montreal Canadiens’ identity and provide a combination of skill and size that the organization sorely lacked.

With Kent Hughes now at the helm of the team, it seems that interest in Dubois has persisted, with NHL Insider Elliott Friedman confirming that the Canadiens and Jets have spoken a few times this season about a potential offseason deal.

The threat of an offer sheet is still present this offseason, as it will be the last time Dubois will be labelled as a restricted free agent, but it’s far more likely that the Jets will want to secure some top assets if they were ever to move their top forward.

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Florida 1st, Harris and Dvorak, make it happen


Yes to getting PLD this offseason…no to your deal.

I give up NO 1st rd picks in this draft – the best one in years.

With FLA’s 17th pick, we should package that and move up to get RD Rinebacher.

As the article suggests, wait until July 1 and offersheet him then. Winny has no choice but to not match, as the 1st and 3rd rd compensation picks are the BEST they will get for this guy at any point this offseason or next season. I have no problem giving up a 1st and a 3rd in NEXT years draft. PLD is worth that tradeoff, and that gives us an additional year to make up for these draft losses.



That’s exactly what I’m hoping, that we trade up to grab reinbacher with that pick. It’s the perfect fit for what we need, and PLD is NOT a priority. At all. Our 5-7 pick will likely be a C too (hoping smith) so we’d have 3 top 6 centres. We may not need PLD at all. Plus if we grab him now, we can’t use that cap space like with the mom ahan trade.

There are SO many reasons why we shouldn’t give up assets to get him. At least not good ones like the 1st this year.

John Spearing

trading up for Reinbacher will not be easy… he might be ranked all over the place, but he will without a doubt be a top 10 pick and the first D off the board…. if we slide out of the top 5 and miss on Bedard, Fantilli, Carlsson, Michkov, and Smith – I think we would take Reinbacher at 6 or 7…. I don’t see us moving up 10 spots in a strong class, it would be costly…
That said, Axel might still be kicking at 17 or we could attempt a much smaller trade up to secure him…

I wouldn’t give up any assets for PLD…. patience is a virtue and we can have him for free in the summer of 24 if he really wants to be a Hab. We still have lots of work to do – our goal is not to squeak into the playoffs, our goal is to be a perennial contender


No it doesn’t make sense. He expected to play here while with Columbus, his agent has said he wants to play here, he even showed up to the draft so he could celebrate in the city with the fans on draft weekend because he thought he was being traded. You only do that if you’re pumped about playing for a team. He WANTS to be here, so trading good assets for him will really only speed thing up by a year. It’s that kind of impatience that had the team mired in mediocrity for decades. ALL the best teams spend YEARS at the bottom, and build through the draft. We want more high picks next year, and PLD will work against that. Plus his cap hit will lessen what we can get for taking on bad contracts this year like the monahan trade.

Also, there’s a good chance we don’t need him. Suzy, Dach, and any one of the 6 or so centres that will go in the top 10 will give us 3 GREAT centres, and the pick will be on ELC for 3 years.

Stop trying to rush the rebuild. Be patient. I’ll pay off more in the end. That Florida pick could end up being a GREAT player. We have holes worse than a 3rd top 6 centre.


but hey, lets go ahead and trade assets for him now instead of just showing a little more patience. HOW CLEAR DOES IT HAVE TO BE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Their not ready for him anyways, it’s clear full on rebuild mode. Brining him in now isn’t needed. Let him stay in Winnipeg, if they find another trade partner then so be it, it wasn’t meant to be. But, if everything is as it seems to be, that he SO badly wants to be in Montreal, then even a trade would be limited in time as he doesn’t have another contract. He’ll sign in Montreal as a free agent regardless.

The idea of spending ANY trade assets or current assets on him is so foolish it’s comical. The only other thing that’s more comical is the absolute obsession some people have with PLD.

Last edited 1 month ago by Yul2GEG

Why would do Dubois want to come to a loser but once proud montreal organization. ? Miss the playoffs every yr. ! The habs have noone to give up in return . I still can’t believe that some fans but into the agent so called g. M. Very inexperienced. Just talks a lot. Rebuilding is for losers. Another word for it is I quit. Our team sucks. ! Logan mailbox. Emil heinaman heineken. Lol. Teasdale beck. Lol. Garbage. ! Only a clueless fan would believe that alm is well here. And the future looks bright. !! Ha ha ha . Lol. We need a number one goalie. Two more stud d. Men. Two right wingers two left wingers. A number one centre. A shut down player. Just to make the playoffs m regularly.

Normand Prejet

So all the teams who rebuilt are losers ? That includes a lot of teams .


You go out of your way to critisize the Habs, on multiple web sites and then you run away with zero justification???
Not sure what your goal is, but you should seek help. It is not healthy.
No one believes anything you say, hopefully it makes you feel better?

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
John Spearing

Clueless Roger showing off his lack of hockey IQ again, lol
Why is this troll on every Habs page when he doesn’t understand the game and no one ever agrees with anything he has to say?


Dubois is NOT an impact player! I’ve been watching the WPG-VGK series and his presence is usually quiet. Hell, even Danault has a more impactful presence in LA and management gave up on him so easily. I say let’s use our 5th pick on Will Smith and bring on Owen Beck to shore up our C deficiencies. As for Right Handed defensemen, let’s ease in Mailloux who is just tearing up the OHL and use our 17th pick to get us another one then.
As for Dubois, he is welcome to come knocking at our door when he is a UFA. Until then, best of luck to him in the Winnipeg-Vegas series.

Lou Guay

Let a playoff-bound team overpay to have Dubois as a rental for the playoffs next season. If all the rumours about Dubois’ desire to play in Montreal are true, once he hits UFA status he will sign with the Habs, at a home-town discount.
Much more likely Dubois signs with the team willing to pay the most.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lou Guay
Curtis Ault

Portzline also said he would recommend Dubois as a player and there was never an issue with his teammates. Also, in a recent interview John Liu did in Winnipeg, when asked which Jets players most impressed him now that he was covering the team on a daily basis, mentioned Josh Morrissey and Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Might I also add, it’s asset management, not asset accumulation or hoarding. You can’t keep them all. Only 50 contracts to go around.


I’m in the minority but I say get PLD this offseason, but with no picks from this upcoming draft. Wait until July 1 and offersheet him then. Winny has no choice but to not match, as the 1st and 3rd rd compensation picks are the BEST they will get for this guy at any point this offseason or next season. I have no problem giving up a 1st and a 3rd in NEXT years draft. PLD is worth that tradeoff, and that gives us an additional year to make up for these draft losses.

PLD is a known commodity. Nearly a pt per game this season – his best season so far. Right NOW, he’s a better #2 C than Dach. And he’s still coming into his prime years.

To all those who say wait until he is a full UFA, and then let him “put his money where his mouth is and sign”, I leave you with this:

Be careful what you wish for.

There is NO guarantee if/when he becomes a UFA he signs with MTL. If he does not, for whatever reason, AND none of our center prospects have become proven #2 or #3 centers, then we lose. I, for one, don’t feel like waiting for something that may never happen – like Beck or Kidney, or Player X from this upcoming draft. These are NOT guarantees. PLD is as close to a slam dunk center right now as possible, and chances are his ceiling is going to be higher than any of the others I just mentioned.

There is nothing wrong with obtaining him as a RFA offersheet this summer. Habs have plenty of cap space (Price will never play again, so there’s the extra $$$ to sign PLD…+ a bit more to spare)

In fact, I want it…


I’d much rather see Will Smith as one of our centers than Dubois. The bonus is that the cap space we save can be used to sign up any UFA, not just Dubois.


Will Smith = Player X (see above). He’s commited to college and would not be playing any professional hockey for at least three seasons. So 3-4 seasons to find out if he will be as good or better than PLD? No thanks…I’ll take PLD now instead.


Even Beck is a better center than Dubois right now. Thè WPG-VGK series is telling us that Dubois could very well end up being another flop if we traded for him. He’s not worth it. Save your cap money for a legitimate impactful forward

Hab in exile

What about a #1 center? I don’t think Suzuki is a #1 center. Great #2 or maybe a 1b. He’ll be a Plekanec+ 70- 80 pts / season.


Patience, patience, patience… Let Winnipeg trade him to a contender this summer so they can get max return for the guy. Jets fans deserve to get something good in return (just not from us). We need to finish bottom 10 again next year to secure another top pick. Getting Dubois now would definitely hurt that goal. Why give up anything for a guy we can get free in a year. Save the assets we would have wasted acquiring PLD and use them to secure other areas. Sooooo much can happen in a year. We probably won’t even need him depending on what happens at the draft. Maybe we can request a moratorium on Dubois to Montreal articles to put it out of everyone’s mind and we can think about something else! 😁


I disagree. Why is it a “goal” to finish in the top ten in the draft…again? Enough with the top ten picks being the end-all-be-all of a rebuild! The “goal” is to win games and win the cup. The Devils are a prime example of how fast it can turn around, and that the process does not have to take the obligatory 5 or 6 years.

The Habs were NOT that bad last season. It was a myriad of injuries that did them in, not bad players. If CC, Dach, Guhle, Matheson, and Monahan never got hurt (or missed just a few games each), then the Habs would have been some 15-20 pts better, and that’s very close to a playoff spot.

We add Benson (winger) and Rinebacher (RD) and then PLD (top 6 center) this offseason, combined with the prospects and young players already at hand, and we are looking at a playoff berth.

Enough fishing in a wishing well. No more tanking is awesome. Time to win – it CAN be done!

Last edited 1 month ago by morrisk

Rebuilding for only 2 seasons is not enough. In order to be the best, we need top players. Those players are most likely to be found at the top of the draft. That’s why we need another top 10 pick at least next year. I agree we’ve been a far better team the past season than the results show because of all the injuries. But, if the goal is to be in the playoffs next year, then we’ll be no better than we were before the rebuild. We had a team that came within 3 wins of a Stanley Cup in ‘21. We tore that team down. The goal is to be better than that team. To do that, we need as many elite players as possible.

Hab in exile

What make you think Dach and Caufield will be healthy next season? I am concerned about their durability. Dach has average 53 games / season in his first 4 and Cole has played in 67 and 46 games in his first 2 full season. Is this the begining of a trend? I wasn’t impressed by Juraj’s ability too protect himself either. Until this high feequency of injuries gets resolved we are going nowhere.

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