Latest news on Pierre-Luc Dubois, Los Angeles Kings

After months of rumors surrounding the Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois and his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens, Dubois’ long-term landing spot finally became apparent.

Report by Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports this morning that the Los Angeles Kings “continue to pursue Pierre-Luc Dubois,” And Fourth-period David Pagnotta followed report on a trade being worked out that would land Dubois in Los Angeles with ‘multiple players/pieces’ going to Winnipeg, including forwards Gabriel Vilardi And Alex Iafallo. Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe adds that he “waits F Jansen Harkins be involved” in a Dubois exchange in Los Angeles as well.

NOW, Athletic’s Murat Ates has given a firmer indication that Dubois could head to California, reporting that the Kings and Dubois are “talking about extending the contract,” and while there are still things to work out regarding the deal and the exact trade, “the things are well on their way” to landing Dubois in Los Angeles.

This would be a relatively surprising outcome given strong indications from the ongoing Dubois business saga that his preferred destination was Montreal. But finding an ideal game between the Jets and the Canadiens for a trade with Dubois seems to have been difficult, especially since Montreal would probably be reluctant to give up the rising center. Kirby roof as part of a commercial package. Los Angeles has a larger pool of NHL-ready assets to lure the Jets as a trade partner, which is likely why a Dubois move to Los Angeles has taken on much more concrete momentum than a Dubois trade to. Montreal.

For the Kings, the addition of Dubois is largely a matter of succession planning for the eventual end of the starting number one center Anze Kopitar‘s playing career.

Kopitar, 35, scored 74 points and showed no real signs of slowing down last season, but with his contract set to expire next summer, Kopitar’s future is increasingly becoming a team priority.

A top-notch number one center just might be the hardest thing to acquire in the NHL, and given the slower-than-expected development of the 2020 second overall pick Quinton ByfieldDubois represents perhaps the best chance the Kings have of finding a franchise face when Kopitar’s playing days are over.

Dubois and Kopitar are represented by the same agent, CAA’s Pat Brisson, so this shared relationship could help the Kings in their effort to lock in Dubois as their next star forward.

It remains to be debated whether Dubois is a true number one center in the NHL. He scored 63 points in 77 games last season and certainly showed flashes of greatness, but he also left fans wanting more in the NHL’s two saves during his career.

In the immediate term, Dubois would be an exceptional addition to Kopitar in the team’s top six and move Danault into a third-line center role. Danault, who scored 54 points last season and is among the league’s most respected defensive centers, would instantly become the league’s best third-line center and their new arrangement would give the Kings one of the best centering depths in the league. the NHL.

Since Dubois is rumored to be seeking a maximum contract extension that reflects the contract’s financial value of $8.7 million Dylan Larkins received from the Detroit Red Wings, actively trying to acquire and extend him, it’s clear the Kings believe in Dubois’ potential to succeed Kopitar as the number one center. It’s up to the team to close the deal and Dubois to prove they’re right on the ice next season.

For the Jets, this trade is about moving from a player who didn’t see a long-term future in Winnipeg and getting the best possible return for the year of control they have left over Dubois’ services. While a trade has yet to be completed and the rumored return around Iafallo and Vilardi is still just that, a rumour, Vilardi’s presence as a central player reveals the Jets’ priorities in their trade negotiations.

Although they’ve faced a few big departures over the next few weeks, the Jets remain committed to building around their established stars such as Kyle Connor And Josh Morrissey.

Getting Vilardi and locking him into a long-term contract would add another basic element to the mix, especially after Vilardi’s 2022-23 campaign where he scored 23 goals and 41 points in 63 games. Although Vilardi has been an NHL-level winger, he has some previous experience playing center and the Jets might consider trying Vilardi again in the middle if they end up acquiring him.

Again, it should be emphasized that no trades are complete at this time and how Winnipeg fares in this trade will likely depend on whether Vilardi is indeed the centerpiece of the deal and what other players, prospects or picks are involved. Right now, the most concrete development reported is that Dubois’ camp is actively negotiating an extension with the Kings, which means the long-awaited trade could be imminent.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

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