by JD Lagrange – As the Winnipeg Jets are set for their first round of the playoffs against the Western Conference leading Vegas Golden Knights, rumours around the future of Pierre-Luc Dubois continue to make the rounds around the NHL. Of course, the fact that the Montreal Canadiens are the prime destination for the big centre and that they are eliminated from a playoffs’ spot isn’t helping any, as fans and media need something to talk about.
But as the price of wood has sky-rocketed in the lumber industry, Canadiens’ fans fear that Kent Hughes could be paying too much for “Dubois” (translates to ‘some wood’) a player who is a year away from being a UFA and able to sign wherever he wants to. Puns aside, fear not, Habs’ fans, at least not based on similar trades in recent history. We will look at those comparisons, as well as the type of contract value he could be fetching if the Canadiens were to resign him long term.
There are a few fairly recent examples of players that could compare to Dubois’ situation. Let’s look at three players traded in the same time frame, prior or during the NHL Draft. I have included their age and stats at the time of the trade.
|Alex DeBrincat||Kevin Fiala||Sam Reinhart||Pierre-Luc Dubois|
|Date traded:||Jul.07, 2022||Jun.29, 2022||Jul.24, 2021||TBD|
|Return:||➙ 2022 1st (OTT – #7)|
➙ 2022 2nd (OTT – #39)
➙ 2024 3rd (OTT)
|➙ 2022 1st (LAK – #19)|
➙ Brock Faber
|➙ 2022 1st (FLA – #28)|
➙ Devon Levi
Alex DeBrincat was traded before the first round of the NHL Draft. Kevin Fiala, nine days prior to the Draft. Sam Reinhart was traded on the second day of the Draft.
So based on this, what do you realistically think Dubois’ value would be this summer? I’m thinking that it would be less than DeBrincat, but more than Reinhart, so somewhere in between.
There is no doubt that the Panthers’ first round pick would have to be included. Then, it would take a prospect, and/or maybe a mid-round pick. It is possible that the Jets may want a veteran and the Canadiens may want to include a Christian Dvorak for salary purposes as well. Come to think of it, that’s not too bad of a price to pay for a guy who has numbers similar to Nick Suzuki, doesn’t it?
But what would his contract extension cost, will you ask? That’s a fair question. There is no denying, historically, that if you sign a player who has a year left in RFA, it costs less of a cap hit than waiting for a player to hit complete autonomy, when all teams can throw offers at the player. With that out of the way, let’s look at some comparatives once again.
|Roope Hintz||DAL||Nov.29/22||26||80||37||35||72||8 yrs – $8.45M|
|Tage Thompson||BUF||Aug.30/22||24||78||38||20||68||7 yrs – $7.14M|
|Josh Norris||OTT||Jul.14/22||22||66||35||20||55||8 yrs – $7.95M|
|Robert Thomas||STL||Jul.13/22||23||72||20||57||77||8 yrs – $8.13M|
|Nick Suzuki||MTL||Oct.12/21||21||56||15||26||41||8 yrs – $7.88M|
Those who are opposed to Dubois in Montreal, for fear that he’s another Jonathan Drouin (or whatever other reasons they provide) often claim that he would cost between $9-10 million. Looking at the players above, this seems a bit blown out of proportion and out of touch.
Looking at the list above, it would be realistic to think that a cap hit between $8-8.5 million would be a good ball park figure.
I encourage you to read a few more articles which defeat the most common narratives about Dubois.
☞ Suzuki, Dach, Dubois – Future Centers
☞ Friedman: 95% Sure Dubois To Montreal
☞ Dubois: “He Would Love To Play In Montreal”
☞ Dubois: Trading or Waiting, the Pros and Cons