The situation between Pierre-Luc Dubois and the Columbus Blue Jackets seems to be, uh, deteriorating.
Head coach John Tortorella shed some light on the situation on 97.1 The Fan’s Rothman and Ice program Wednesday, a day ahead of Columbus’ opener against the Nashville Predators.
“Yeah, he wants out,” Tortorella said. “He spoke to the team, as we do here. It’s a little bit different than [Artemi Panarin] and [Sergei Bobrovsky] were. This is a 22-year-old kid. It doesn’t happen that often, so he has been honest with the group. I wish he was a little bit more honest as far as reasons why. I still haven’t really gotten to that, but I think he needs to speak on that. I won’t.”
So, Dubois signed a two-year deal worth $10 million with Columbus on December 31 and there were reports that he was seeking a “change of scenery.”
Torts essentially dragged the issue into the open, stating they’ll confront it as a group and get back to business.
Word around the campfire was that Dubois was seeking a bridge deal with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen as a statement of intent, a way to give the squad time to move him without committing to major term.
So it stands to reason that Dubois would “want out” of Columbus and it also stands to reason that Torts has no time for this.
“[Dubois] has had a good camp, but it’s a short leash with me as far as this is concerned,” Tortorella said. “He needs to continue to do the things to help this team win and be the best teammate he can be, or I’m not sure where it goes. It’s a situation, and we’ll go to it day by day.”
Tortorella went into greater detail about the much-discussed bench incident back in August, too.
“I look at conflict differently,” he said. “…everybody gets all excited about arguments and this and that, what happened on the bench. I think it’s so healthy because then I think you have the two individuals in the middle of that being honest with one another. And I think that that’s a really good thing in developing a hockey player.”
Torts went on to explain that he didn’t know why Dubois “wants out” and nobody really seems to know that either outside of more rumours, at least until the player says something concrete. For now, he’s offered up little more than the kind of pat answers we’ve come to expect from hockey players.
“I’m going to be the best player I can be, the best teammate I can be (and) the best person I can be,” he said. “I don’t want it to be a distraction, so I think that’s the only way.”