Pierre-Luc Dubois & Tortorella: these ain't no Happy Days
Updated: Jan 22, 2021
They say when there is smoke there must be fire, well then in the case of the PLD rumors, the alarm must have already gone off and the firemen must be on their way. So no sense debating if the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft is on the market, he clearly is and you would think as this stage, with all that's transpired between him and H̶e̶n̶r̶y̶ ̶W̶i̶n̶k̶l̶e̶r̶ John Tortorella, that the leverage in any negotiations has gone straight out the window.
One also has to wonder about the level of communication between GM Jarmo Kekalainen and his coach, Arthur Fonzerelli (sorry but I loved that show). Problems between the Jackets' young, budding star forward and his coach have been well documented for some time now. So naturally, you would think that when the coach and GM sat down with PLD at the end of last season, a discussion was held regarding the player's desire to leave Columbus. If not, why wait till the start of the season to voice his discontent knowing a trade would be much less likely to occur?
Is PLD unhappy because so many players have departed Columbus these last couple of off-seasons? Is it really the fact he would like to be more in the limelight that makes him want out? What does it say about the player himself? Part of me feels like he is just quitting on the team that drafted him now that they no longer are contenders (again, given all the depth and star players they've lost of late). Perhaps he could learn a lesson or two from young star players who never bailed on their team, the ones who stuck with their organizations through thick and thin. Joe Sakic comes to mind. Steve Yzerman was another. Shane Doan. Countless more. Did they all love their coaches? Probably not. Besides, everyone knows coaches are part of an endless revolving door. So there's got to me more to the story...
As good a talent and seemingly as clutch a player as Dubois may be (looked tremendous in the playoff series versus Toronto), the label "buyer beware" may well apply here. Yet, given his sheer size, those soft, golden hands and the fact he is incredibly fleet of foot, there is no doubt that there will be countless bidders. However this drama unfolds, one this is certain, Happy Days are not here to stay when it comes to Columbus.