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Pierre-Luc Dubois accepts Qualifying Offer, signs 1 year, $6 million

July 22, 2022, 6:10 PM ET [46 Comments]
Jacob Billington
Winnipeg Jets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Pierre-Luc Dubois has accepted his Qualifying Offer with the Winnipeg Jets, signing a 1 year deal worth $6 million.

Upon expiry, Dubois will have 1 more year of RFA rights, before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Dubois, 24, tallied 28 goals and 60 points in 81 games during the 2021-22 season, while slotted in as the second line center for the Jets.

Dubois plans to meet with the media on Monday, and for a player who is pretty up-front about his feelings and thoughts, I am expecting it to be pretty interesting.

What does this mean moving forwards, with the unofficial trade request rumours? Well, not much.

Dubois's agent said recently that the Montreal is a city the star player would like to play in. It is the leagues worst kept secret that Dubois has his eyes set on Montreal, especially after stating he wants to test unrestricted free agency in 2 years when his RFA rights expire. Getting Dubois signed for 1 year is good news for the Jets, as they now have at least until next summer to decide the outcome, and hope Dubois doesn't work his way into yet another 1 year deal in the 2023 off-season.

The price tag, at $6m, is a great price for the center. I think the Jets will start the season with Dubois, and deal with the situation at the trade deadline, or as next summer comes along. It's a hard situation to be in, with Dubois being public and clear about his destination as soon as possible, no team is going to trade for the upcoming RFA expecting a long term deal, except for the Montreal Canadiens.

I have been told by somebody very close to the Canadiens that he has heard the rumours, but doesn't expect a deal to be done any time in the near future. Sure, things change with one phone call, but the likes of Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Kaiden Guhle are off the table, which are the pieces Winnipeg should be looking to get back. The Canadiens 2023 1st round pick is also off the table, but they do own the rights to the Panthers 2023 1st round pick, which could be in play.

Another option for the Jets and teams interested in facilitating a trade, is that they could treat Dubois as a rental. Coming up to this trade deadline, a team in the mix for a deep playoff run could look towards Dubois, and his situation, and think they can use him, sign him to another 1 year deal, walking him to free agency, and use him as a rental, knowing the most likely destination is Montreal in 2024. This isn't something we see very often, and that new team could work out a trade with Montreal for a sign and trade after a 2022-23 playoff run.

It is such an uncharted territory for a situation like this. The most comparable situation is Matthew Tkachuk currently looking to leave Calgary, following fellow line-mate Johnny Gaudreau. Tkachuk has given the Calgary Flames a list of teams he is willing to sign long-term with. With Tkachuk being 1 year from UFA, not many teams will line up to get him without that long term deal on the table. But, what if a team does? Similar to what I talked about with Dubois, a team could use Tkachuk as a rental, and then let him walk. The tough part about that is, if you are trading for a superstar like Tkachuk, the return from a team with a long term deal is going to be much more than most teams would like for a 1 year rental, walking to UFA.

It's tough to find a way for Winnipeg to win here. I think they just let the waves ride out, and deal with it after February, and see what they have at that point.

In some other news, the Jets have signed a couple of their RFA's.

Jeff Malott has re-signed on a 2 year. 2-way deal worth an AAV of $762,500. This is a good AHL player, who could work his way into the NHL to fill in for some injuries, but is likely destined for another 2 years with Manitoba in the AHL.

Johnathan Kovacevic signed a pretty interesting 3 year deal with the Jets today, too. Kovacevic signed a 3 year deal, in which the 3rd year is a 1-way contract. Kovacevic will be battling for an NHL spot in each of those years, and at $767,000 AAV, that's a pretty good deal.

Let me know your thoughts on the Jets RFA's and what you expect for the rest of the summer, have a great day!

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