December 31, 2020

The cost for the New York Rangers to acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois is just too high

Pierre-Luc Dubois (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

There is nothing more tantalizing to a New York Ranger fan’s ears than hearing about an NHL star being available. That is exactly what’s going on today with the “rumor” that Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Columbus Blue Jackets is looking for a change of scenery.

Unsigned RFA Pierre-Luc Dubois

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!

Apparently, Pierre Lebrun who was just reporting a few weeks ago that he was getting positive vibes out of Columbus but is now signing a little different tune these days.

Pierre-Luc Dubois looking for a change?

“Pierre-Luc Dubois is not in Columbus as camp approaches and remains unsigned.” Lebrun tweeted today, but it’s what he added afterwards that has everyone buzzing. “There are rumblings from a few teams around the league that Dubois may be looking for a change of scenery.”

nhl rumors rangers
Acquiring Dubois would be costly (USATS)

So could the 22 year-old young star center be looking for an out? He scored 49 points in 70 games last season but was a force in RTP. In 10 games he notched 4 goals and 6 assists.

Lebrun did qualify that fact as wishful thinking by some teams and remember, Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is confident things will get done.

“I am confident that we will have Pierre-Luc Dubois under contract before the first day of training camp,” GM Jarmo Kekalainen said on an SiriusXM NHL interview.

The GM explained that these things take time but they fully expect it to happen before camp. Kekalainen reiterated this today as well.

What would it cost to land Dubois

If there is a huge impasse between the two sides and Dubois is shopped you can expect a high cost for the former 3rd overall pick. As far as the Rangers go, a package that didn’t also include a player like Adam Fox, or Kaapo Kakko wouldn’t move the needle.

It would make more sense for the Rangers to trade Ryan Strome. 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.

You have to give to get.

Dubois is also certain to be looking for a deal in the $6-7 million range. 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, just not Dubois.

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