On Thursday afternoon, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced they had signed center Pierre-Luc Dubois to a two year contract worth $10 million:
That $5M average annual salary was predicted exactly by commenter BrightandSunny earlier this week. Kudos!
As expected, the salary is heavily backloaded, setting up Dubois for a big raise in summer 2022:
PLD will be a restricted free agent that summer, as will defenseman Zach Werenski. Unrestricted free agents that summer include center Max Domi, defenseman Seth Jones, and goaltenders Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo. Fun!
Pierre-Luc Dubois is obviously very worth his bridge deal and will cost *a lot* more when that's up in two years pic.twitter.com/0Cig8YKqSa— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) December 31, 2020
Prior to this announcement, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth after this tweet by Pierre LeBrun:
Pierre-Luc Dubois is not in Columbus as camp approaches and remains unsigned. And now there are rumblings from a few teams around the league that Dubois may be looking for a change of scenery. Maybe wishful thinking on their part. But stay tuned on this one.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 31, 2020
Aaron Portzline, who just yesterday mentioned that PLD had been working out in Columbus, followed up with this:
Here we go again, right?
We finally got some clarification from David Pagnotta. Apparently Dubois’ side won out:
Things can certainly change, but from what I'm hearing, the Blue Jackets have been pushing for a long-term deal and it sounds like Dubois prefers a short-term deal right now. https://t.co/mBnJiJV8FP— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) December 31, 2020
From the horse’s mouth:
Dubois: "I'm excited to have the contract done & to be able to get back on the ice and play hockey again, especially with everything that is going on in the world right now. I'm very fortunate and looking forward to being with my teammates at camp and the start of a new season."— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) December 31, 2020
What do you think of this contract? Are you excited for camp to start now? I’ve been saying all off-season that Dubois would get his deal done right before camp. This is in line with Werenski, who has the same agent and signed three days before camp in 2019. It’s also a reminder that it’s wise not to panic until the bad thing actually happens.
(Yes, I was already mentally outlining an article criticizing the front office for not signing Dubois by the start of camp, just in case)
Enjoy the long weekend, and be sure to check back next week for our season preview coverage!