Revisiting what it would cost for the Rangers to acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois

The New York Rangers dodged the proverbial bullet when Mika Zibanejad was declared good to go for tomorrow’s contest against the Penguins. This raised the question about center depth again, and how fragile it is right now for the Rangers long term success.

So when you hear a center like Pierre-Luc Dubois is available it is certainly tantalizing to a New York Rangers fan. And since he is looking for a change of scenery, it does raise the question if they should pay the price to obtain him.

Pierre-Luc Dubois looking for a trade

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 159 career points. All that while playing for an offensively inept Blue Jackets squad in 238 career games.

Did I also mention in his second year in the league he scored 27 goals? At age 20!

Latest rumors have him interested in playing for the Montreal Canadiens, but a bigger stage is what he really desires.

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Acquiring Dubois would be costly (USATS)

What would it cost to land Dubois

As far as the Rangers go, a package that didn’t also include a player like Adam Fox, or Kaapo Kakko probably wouldn’t move the needle. That’s also likely a non-started for Jeff Gorton. But the Rangers do have a lot of other options.

It would make more sense for the Rangers to trade Ryan Strome in the deal. Basically, Dubois would automatically be 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.

Of course, trading Miller doesn’t seem like an option either. Remember, you have to give to get. Would Tony DeAngelo move the needle instead? Just keep in mind, you can’t have 4 lines of first liners just because you think that’s how it works. And you can’t have top pair defenseman from top to the bottom either.

Bottom Line, there’s cap concerns too

Dubois is also certain to be looking for a deal in the $9 million range when this one expires in the summer of 2022. Which the Rangers would need to clear cap space for, that can be helped with moving Strome, assuming the Jackets want him.

Bottom line, even if Dubois is available the Blue Jackets are even more unlikely to trade him into the division. Yes, there is realignment this season but all is expected to go back to the previous alignment next season.

If there is a deal that needs to be made, I’d look at teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, or L.A. Kings as potential trade partners first. The Rangers are going to make plays for big players next season, but making a play for Dubois would require a willingness from Columbus to do so.

Not sure the Jackets want to miss the playoffs in the future thanks to a player who wanted out of their city. Then again, maybe a permanent NHL realignment is coming and it won’t matter.


Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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