Rumor: Dubois to Western Canadian team

The Columbus Blue Jackets have a long history of star players falling out of favour in Ohio. The list of players that have left the Blue Jackets over the years includes Rick Nash, Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene, Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin. It now appears 2016 3rd overall pick Pierre-Luc Dubois would prefer a change of scenery, even though Dubois just signed a two year extension worth $5 million per season. There will be plenty of interest in Dubois, but a Western Canadian city may be where the young star center ends up.

TSN's Pierre LeBrun has mentioned that there has been talk between the Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets regarding the Jets' own disgruntled star Patrik Laine. Laine has been in the rumor mill for a few seasons now and Dubois may be the best fit for a trade, they are the same age and went #2 and #3 in the 2016 draft respectively. Laine has put up better goal scoring number than Dubois which would most likely rule out a one for one trade. 

The two Alberta based NHL teams may have the best chance to pull off a one for one deal. Bob Stauffer of TSN 1260 in Edmonton reported last week that the Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will not negotiate an extension during the season. This leaves Oilers GM Ken Holland with a tough choice to risk losing RNH as a free agent after this year. Trading for Dubois would immediately save Edmonton $1 million in cap space, with Dubois being signed for next year. 

The Calgary Flames have been long rumored to want to shake up their core. The Calgary Sun's Eric Francis mentioned many times last season that if the Flames made a move it would be Johnny Gaudreau that would be the odd man out in Calgary. Gaudreau is also signed until the end of next season with a cap hit of $6.75 million. The contract lengths of Dubois and Gaudreau expire at the same time. Having Dubois in Calgary would allow the Flames to move Elias Lindholm back to his natural wing position. 

We are only 10 days away from the start of the NHL season and with it being a shortened 56-game season, a slow start by a team could trigger big moves early. Buckle up, this could get crazy. 

photo credit: Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire