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According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the Washington Capitals are among 12 teams that have inquired on Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois, who asked the organization for a trade as he desires a bigger stage.
The Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, and Arizona Coyotes have also checked in on the 22-year-old’s availability.
LeBrun added that the Blue Jackets want such a trade to be a hockey deal.
Dubois played only five shifts (3:55) in the team’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella declined to comment after the game.
Dubois has scored one goal and recorded a -2 rating in five regular-season games so far this season and 66 goals, 159 points, and a +20 rating in 239 career NHL games.
The best season of his NHL career came in 2018-19 when he set career-highs in goals (27), assists (34), points (61), and plus-minus (+16 rating). He also has eight goals and 19 points in 26 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, including four goals and 10 points in 10 games last season.
Dubois was the third overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.
The Capitals currently have $20,123 left in cap space, so they would likely have to move at least a player to take on Dubois’ $5 cap hit. Since the Capitals already have four NHL centers, Lars Eller (who’s contract carries a $3.5 million cap hit) could be the odd man out if Dubois were to come in. Defenseman Nick Jensen ($2.5 million) could also be a candidate to get moved if the Capitals were to aggressively pursue Dubois.
Dubois can become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights after the 2021-22 season.
By Harrison Brown