Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois made headlines yesterday when his desire to test free agency in two year’s time was reported by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Today, Friedman elaborated on his report, taking a wider view on Dubois’ situation in general. Friedman specifically pointed to Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s approach to other players who had their eyes on playing elsewhere, such as Jacob Trouba, to reveal how Cheveldayoff could approach the Dubois situation. In the face of Dubois’ desire to test the market in two years, it seems that no trade is imminent. Per Friedman, the Jets hope that Dubois will “be a Jet for a long time,” and will likely attempt to do whatever possible to change Dubois’ mind and get his signature on a long-term deal.
Dubois is an extremely talented player, and it’s easy to see why the Jets would want to do anything they could to change Dubois’ mind and keep him in Winnipeg. The Jets surrendered both Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic in order to secure Dubois’ services, and him leaving in free agency would be a major blow to the franchise. It’s a difficult situation for Winnipeg because ultimately Dubois does have the power to choose where he wants to play. If his heart is truly not in Winnipeg, the choice to hold on to Dubois and hope he changes his mind could be an incredibly costly one for the Jets. Cheveldayoff is an experienced GM who has gone through similar situations to this one before. How well he is able to handle this Dubois complication will be a major factor in determining how quickly the Jets can return to contention.
Now, for some other notes from across the league:
- The Vegas Golden Knights made a big move today, taking a top UFA winger off the market with a three-year extension for Reilly Smith. The Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights, also made a signing today, inking goaltender Jordan Papirny to an AHL contract for the 2022-23 season. (per The Athletic’s Jesse Granger) While this signing may seem a bit curious at first glance since Papirny has only two professional games played on his record, the rationale behind it becomes a bit more clear when you do some digging. Papirny shared the crease with current Vegas goalie Logan Thompson in his time with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, and his head coach was Kelly McCrimmon, the current Golden Knights’ GM. Papirny, 26, had his most success last season playing Canadian college hockey in the ACAC, where he had an 11-0-0 record and a .948 save percentage with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
- Today, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced details of this year’s selection announcement, with the 2022 class’ reveal set to be broadcast on Monday on TSN and NHL Network. The currently eligible players give a potential 2022 class some real star potential, with names such as Roberto Luongo, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Rick Nash entering the field, and familiar names such as Daniel Alfredsson and Alexander Mogilny hoping that this year will be the year their names are enshrined in Toronto.