The Pierre-Luc Dubois situation in Winnipeg is certainly far from desirable with reports indicating his camp has told the Jets that he has no desire to re-sign with them for his final year of RFA eligibility next season. To that end, Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press suggests that the team needs to look inward to determine why a player in the prime of his career with an opportunity for an even bigger role next season (if Mark Scheifele is moved) is so fixated on leaving. It was a rough season for the Jets this season who went from leading the Central Division to barely squeaking into a Wild Card spot before being the first team out of the playoffs, leading to head coach Rick Bowness publicly calling the team out at the end of the series. In essence, moving out Dubois is only one part of the picture while determining and fixing the root causes of the discontent could be the biggest part of the summer for Winnipeg.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- When he met with the media earlier this week (video link), Stars GM Jim Nill indicated that he’s hoping to leave himself some more cap flexibility to start next season. Dallas was among the teams that shuffled players to and from the minors to bank a few extra thousand dollars in cap room here and there which didn’t leave them much flexibility to work with at the trade deadline. Acknowledging that free agency isn’t the deepest this summer, Nill feels that a trade is their best chance at making an impact addition which would require them to bank a lot more cap room in-season than they have been. That said, it’s a lofty goal as they have a little over $7MM in space at the moment per CapFriendly with likely five forward spots to fill including RFA Ty Dellandrea.
- The Blues are hoping to fill their two assistant coach vacancies by the end of the month, notes Matthew DeFranks of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. GM Doug Armstrong recently indicated that the process is now in the hands of head coach Craig Berube to pare down the candidates. It’s expected that they will hire a defense coach to take the place of Mike Van Ryn but Armstrong suggested that St. Louis could look to take a different route when trying to fill Craig MacTavish’s open spot and are considering a skills or development coach for that role. Assistant Steve Ott and goalie coach David Alexander remain in their roles from this season.