January 8, 2021

New York Rangers to keep tabs on Pierre-Luc Dubois situation in Columbus

Acquiring Dubois would be costly (USATS)

The situation in Columbus between the Blue Jackets and Pierre-Luc Dubois is going to be something to keep an eye on. It isn’t expected that GM Jarmo Kekalainen will make a rash or hasty move, but he will have a number of suitors.

According to the best hockey insiders, the New York Rangers will undoubtably be keeping close tabs on the situation. There is certainly a connection there with former Jackets president John Davidson now with the Blueshirts.

The biggest question is not if the Rangers have the pieces to trade for Dubois, but if the Jackets would do so within the division?

Insiders name Rangers as a possible trade destination for Dubois

Last night on TSN’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun named 7 teams that would be in on Dubois. They were the Ducks, Flames, Kings, Jets, Canadiens, Blackhawks, and Rangers.

Eventually, I’m guessing next summer, the Rangers are going to get around to finding another top-6 centre for their talented lineup. Can you imagine if that’s Dubois? A 1-2 punch at centre of Mika Zibanejad and Dubois and all that talent on the wings… Yikes. There’s absolutely no question in my mind the Rangers will be among the many teams who check in with Columbus. The fly in the ointment is that Columbus ideally would rather avoid trading within their own (normal) division. So there’s that. But as far as a need and fit, this is a good one.

Pierre LeBrun

Dubois would be perfect for the Rangers, but…

new york rangers rumors
Pierre-Luc Dubois (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

What is there not to like about a 6-3, 218 lb center that is only 22 years-old? Compounded by the fact that player also was a 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft and has 158 career points. All that while playing for an offensively inept Blue Jackets squad in 234 career games.

Did I also mention in his second year in the league he scored 27 goals? At age 20! Of course, you have to give to get.

It would make sense for the Rangers to trade Ryan Strome in the deal. Basically, Dubois would automatically become the #2 center anyway. Of course, Strome alone isn’t getting it done and will require additional pieces including a prospect like Vitali Kravtsov, or K’Andre Miller.

Dubois is signed for the next tow seasons with an AAV of $5 million. Which the Rangers would need to clear cap space for, that can be helped with moving Strome, assuming the Jackets want him. However, after that he could be looking for a longterm deal close to $10 million if he becomes a point a game player.

Bottom line, even if Dubois is traded, the Blue Jackets would be hard-pressed to do it with a division rival. Yes, there is realignment this season but all is expected to go back to the previous alignment next season.

Still, stranger trades have happened and if the package is right it could get done.

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