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Welcome to Winnipeg, Mister Dubois

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This past weekend, the Winnipeg Jets pulled off a blockbuster trade, with general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff trading Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third-round draft pick in the 2022 draft.

The trade makes sense on several fronts. The Jets finally have a one-two punch at the centre ice position. This is something the organization has been searching for, and something the organization believes is crucial to sustained playoff success.

“When you get the opportunity to acquire a positional need for now and the future, you have to make those tough decisions,” Cheveldayoff says of the trade. “With the strength of the contracts we have with our wingers, it fell into place and I needed to make this move.”

The cost was high, but Cheveldayoff was able to accomplish the task without de-prioritizing goal-scoring. In fact, Dubois has outscored Laine per 60 minutes of ice-time in each season since 2018–2019. Dubois also plays better defensively, which results in higher net production than Laine.

The trade also provides salary cap flexibility, allowing Cheveldayoff to address the team’s defensive deficiencies. The Jets only have 13 roster players signed next season with a projected cap space of $19.7 million. This should allow Cheveldayoff to add another high-end defenseman next off-season—if one becomes available.

Finally, several of the players involved have been open about looking for a change of scenery, and this trade provides them with that opportunity.

“I’m up for the challenge. I’m up to show everybody how I can play hockey,” Dubois says. “I know a lot of people may not have seen me play in the past three years, but I’m excited to get to know the fans, and for the fans to get to know me.”

Across social media, fans of both teams appear to be disappointed with the trade. Neither party walks away totally happy—but in negotiations, this typically means the deal is fair.

Welcome to Winnipeg, Pierre-Luc Dubois.

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