The headlines were already dominated today by Pierre-Luc Dubois news, but even with the new two-year bridge deal, it doesn’t appear like the conversation is over. Aaron Portzline of The Athletic joined TSN Radio in Vancouver this afternoon, explaining that even though the contract is inked, Dubois’ desire to stay in Columbus isn’t.
I think there is a desire from the player, I don’t think it is an imminent move, but it appears—Pierre LeBrun the first to report this—that there is a desire by the player to move on, to have a change of scenery. Which is a nice way of saying get the heck out of town, he wants to play somewhere else. My first inclination was, I’m sure like yours, that this was just a ploy to move things along here and get this done so the young man could enjoy some bubbly and not have to worry about his contract tonight, but I think this is bigger than that. I think he wants a short-term contract in Columbus, I think he’s willing to let Jarmo Kekalainen to have some time to make a deal, because it is certainly going to be a major trade if it includes Pierre-Luc Dubois. But it is a short-term deal too because apparently unless something changes, there is a feeling with Pierre-Luc Dubois is that he does not want to be locked down in Columbus, Ohio long-term.
For now, Dubois is signed and part of the Blue Jackets family. But his situation is obviously still one to keep an eye on as things continue, especially given how expensive he will likely become after this bridge deal expires. In 2021-22 he will already carry a heavy salary on his back-loaded contract, a number he will probably be looking to eclipse on any long-term deal.
- Micheal Ferland will not be in Vancouver Canucks training camp when it starts in a few days, as his agent Jason Davidson told Rick Dhaliwal of TSN that the veteran forward is still at home trying to work through his post-concussion symptoms. Ferland played two games for the Canucks in the postseason but was forced out of the bubble due to his health complications. Though everyone is hoping that he will recover enough to play hockey again, moving Ferland’s $3.5MM cap hit to long-term injured reserve would help the Canucks get out of the tricky situation they find themselves in as the season approaches.
- The Buffalo Sabres will be hiring Dan Girardi in a player development role, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The 36-year-old played 927 regular season games in the NHL over a long career, quite the impressive total for a player who was never drafted. Add in 143 postseason games and Girardi has a wealth of knowledge that he can pass off to Sabres prospects and players.