Toronto Maple Leafs Rumours: Pierre
May 07, 2023
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 31: Pierre-Luc Dubois #80 of the Winnipeg Jets skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on March 31, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Jets 7-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs should, if they can, add more star players to the roster.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have operated the last several years with a "studs and duds" salary cap strategy that has now more or less been adopted league wide.
Now that every team has an analytics department, the fact that the NHL is a strong-link game where stars dictate results is no longer a secret. The best way to build a team in the NHL is to ice as many star players as possible, while avoiding giving money or term to non-stars.
The Leafs should recognize this and refuse to give money to players like Ryan O’Reilly, Noel Acciari and Luke Schenn. They should get rid of Justin Holl, Alex Kerfoot and even Calle Jarnkrok.
All of those players should be converted into AHL players and prospects making the league minimum and then the savings should be used to get more stars.
Enter Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Winnipeg Jets star who has now requested a trade.
While Dubois hasn't ever lived up to his potential as a point-per-game superstar, he is a 6’2 205 lbs. left-winger (who can play centre) and score goals.
He scored 28 times two years ago, then in eight less games scored 27 this year. He can and will eventually score 40 goals.
He has never been a negative puck possession player in his career, and only in one season did his team fail to score more goals, or post a positive expected goals number, than the opposition while he was on the ice. This despite playing for three years in Columbus. (naturalstattrick.com).
Dubois isn't quite a power-forward, at least not in the Tkachukian sense, but he's strong and tough. He is a good passer, and is not very good at defense.
He only has a year left on his deal, and he makes a reasonable $6 million cap hit.
The move for the Toronto Maple Leafs would be to trade William Nylander to Colorado for Bowen Byram, or to Detroit for Moritz Seider, then, in a separate trade, give the Jets some picks and prospects for Dubois.
Dubois is slightly cheaper than Nylander, but he brings a different element, one that could help the Leafs if they have designs on changing their team identity.
Additionally, Dubois is a player who still has upside at 24, and could score 40, even 50 goals when other teams are keyed in on Matthews and Marner.
Dubois can also play centre, meaning that if the Leafs wanted to move John Tavares to the wing, they could do a lot worse.