Columbus Blue Jackets: Pierre-Luc Dubois is 100 percent still a distraction

The Columbus Blue Jackets have a $10 million PLD problem.

When the Columbus Blue Jackets locked up Pierre-Luc Dubois on a two-year, $10 million extension to remain with the team through 2022, one would assume the franchise genuinely thought external talks of a trade would be temporarily halted.

Hm… how’s that working out?

Much to the assumed chagrin of Jarmo Kekäläinen and the entire Blue Jackets brass, PLD’s new deal may actually make him more likely to be traded, based on the AAV and duration alone.

However, that doesn’t need to be the case. Dylan Strome just signed a two-year deal worth $4 million less over its duration, and no one is expecting to see him moved any time soon. No, the reason Dubois will remain a hot name on the proverbial trade block for the foreseeable future is that he explicitly requested a trade not too long ago and hasn’t faltered with that desire since.

That’s right, even with $10 million in the proverbial bank – eventually – Dubois remains staunch in his desire to call a city other than Columbus home in the not too distant future, and will continue to pursue that desire through training camp.

But hey, it’s cool; Dubois doesn’t want his reported desire for a “change of scenery” to become a distraction, as he told The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline,

“I’m gonna be the best player I can be, the best teammate I can be, and the best person I can be. I don’t want it to be a distraction, so I think that’s the only way. If I go out there and work hard in practices, have a good attitude, work hard in games, play well, I think it’s not a distraction. It’s if I don’t do those things that it could become (one), but I know the attitude I’m going to have. I know I’m going to work hard and have a good attitude and be a good teammate, so I hope it’s not a distraction.”

Welp, there you go friends – article over. Dubois doesn’t want it to be a big deal – a distraction, if you will – so clearly, fans will respect his wishes and simply let things play out, right?

Yeah, that’s 1,000,000 percent not how that works.

By not only addressing the situation head-on but effectively confirming his continued desire to be traded sooner than later, Dubois has effectively guaranteed that he will be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ training camp, January, February, and maybe even March – really, until a trade either goes down or the deadline passes on April 12th.

And honestly, if PLD is still somehow on the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 13th, it really just opens up speculation for the offseason, the draft, and the 2022 trade deadline. Until Pierre-Luc Dubois either formally declares his allegiance to Columbus moving forward or the Blue Jackets execute a trade involving the former third overall pick, that’s just the team’s reality moving forward.