Winnipeg Jets: Three Thoughts After Pierre-Luc Dubois Media Availability

Winnipeg Jets, Pierre-Luc Dubois,#80,(Mandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports)
Winnipeg Jets, Pierre-Luc Dubois,#80,(Mandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Here are three thoughts from Pierre-Luc Dubois’ media appearance on July 25, 2022, discussing his decision to accept the Winnipeg Jets qualifying offer, and the rumors surrounding his future as a Jet.

On Monday Pierre-Luc Dubois met virtually with the media to discuss his decision to sign a one-year qualifying offer with the Winnipeg Jets, and more importantly to address the multitude of stories floating around the NHL that he and his agent have advised the team that he does not envision a future as a Winnipeg Jet.

Full credit to Dubois for even agreeing to face a savvy, informed local media group that he must have known would not shy away from asking direct, pointed questions. Dubois responded with some understandable frustration and vagueness but did clarify a few items for the media and fans.

Dubois directly addressed the reasons why he attended the NHL draft being that he was invited as a guest by his bank, and attended as a fan of hockey, not because he was expecting a trade to the Montreal Canadiens. He also downplayed his agent Pat Brisson’s media appearance where he stated that Dubois would like to play for his hometown Canadiens.

Overall, Dubois’ message to fans and media was that at present he is unsure as to whether he wants to commit to the organization on a long-term basis, and is going to re-evaluate his choices when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, which is his right.

Here are three thoughts from the media appearance about the Dubois and the Winnipeg Jets moving forward.

3. The Disappointing Last Season Factored Into Dubois’ Decision

Pierre-Luc Dubois shared many of the standard off-season cliches players use after a failed season – that he’s working hard in the gym; looking forward to working with the new coaching staff; loves the guys in the dressing room. He also acknowledged that last season was disappointing as he felt that the team was better than the results they produced.

It’s no surprise then that a young, star player moving towards likely the most lucrative contract in his professional career, might be uncertain about committing long-term to a team in turmoil. If the Jets are truly a Stanley Cup contender at this time, I suspect his message may have been different.

The Jets chaotic last season included their long-tenured head coach quitting on the team before Christmas; reports of dysfunction in the dressing room from current and former players; a barely average level year for the team’s best player, Mark Scheifele, followed by a year-end nuclear media appearance where he essentially asked to be traded; and insider reports that loyal captain Blake Wheeler has asked for a trade.

New head coach Rick Bowness has a monumental task on his hands trying to steer the Jets back into the playoffs this season. That may not be enough to ensure Dubois re-signs with the club, but anything less is a guarantee he will be gone.