Jets’ Dubois will Face Blue Jackets for the First Time Since Big Trade

Last January, Winnipeg Jets’ General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff He made the most important trade of his career. He sent Patrik Leine, a disgruntled winger, and Jack Roslovic, a centre, to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois. Pierre-Luc Dubois was, coincidentally, also unhappy with his Ohio situation. The trade focused on Laine, who was picked 2nd overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Jets. Dubois was the next pick taken by Columbus.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, who was traded to the Jets in January, will now face the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images).

Tonight will be his first encounter with his former teammates. However, he won’t face his former head coach John Tortorella, who was not offered a new contract at the end of last season, and one whose fiery personality and heated press conferences made it clear he was not happy with Dubois. He also won’t play against Laine, who is currently on the injured reserve list and out until Mid-December with an Oblique strain

Dubois Struggled After Trade

Dubois was criticized for his poor performance in his first season with Jets. He never made a public statement about why he wanted to leave the Jets during the Columbus trade drama. Many speculate that he and Tortorella had a romantic relationship. This was beyond repair.He was simply unhappy with Dubois for whatever reason. Tortorella benched Tortorella two times.

Dubois was placed in quarantine for 14 days after the announcement of the trade. After meeting his teammate in person, he struggled to find a place on an already established roster. He lost because of a lack of routine, a stressful and mentally draining experience in Columbus, as well as a new club with an entirely new dynamic in a Covid season that was short and unpredictable. His play and stats were a reflection of this. Jets fans were left wondering if Cheveldayoff was a failure with this trade.

Related: Jets Benefit From A Refocused Dubois

Dubois said, at the season’s end interview, that he was going back to focus and would come to camp in shape to make a significant contribution in 2021-22. That’s a promise he has kept! In the first 17 games of the season, he has scored 10 goals and added six assists, had an eight-game point streak and he’s averaging in the neighbourhood of 20 minutes of ice time per game. But there is one set of stats that truly reflects his level of play this season and that’s his ability to get the puck to the net.

Dubois’ Turnaround Could Mean Trouble for the Blue Jackets

He has scored 54 goals in 17 games this season. He managed only 69 shots in goal last year with the Jets, and that was just 41 games. That’s an increase of almost exactly twice as many shots per game. The simple fact that he has scored 10 goals for the Jets so far this season is a bonus. He is currently on pace to score 48 more goals this year. In contrast, The players that were traded for Dubois aren’t fairing as well. Roslovic has only two goals in 16 games, while Laine has three goals. If you do the math, and that’s what I’m good at (retired math teacher over here), they are on a pace to score 37 goals… combined! And those would be the totals of each player’s current pace barring injury and it has already been mentioned that Laine is recovering from one.

Curtis McElhinney, Pierre-Luc Dubois
Dubois was an offensive leader in his time with the Blue Jackets and has now re-enforced that role with the Jets. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

No one is arguing that Dubois hasn’t produced for the Jets this season, he is arguably the team’s MVP but at the end of last season, there was definitely some doubt that the Jets’ GM had signed off on a poor trade. Laine was supposed to be the axle the Jets’ offence spun on for years to come, as was Dubois in Columbus. Both players asked for a change because of different reasons. However, only one of them has given their new team the offensive numbers that their former teams received.

It’ll be interesting to see how Dubois is welcomed when he steps on the ice. Dubois was not popular at the time he was traded. Many felt it was unfair that he was dealt. It’s time to leave.. We hope that young men who have refocused their game in another city and are thriving this year will get some respect. Obviously, we won’t know until game time.