Winnipeg Jets centre Pierre-Luc Dubois is remaining mum on the reason he asked to be traded from Columbus last season. However, the 23-year-old has discussed why he kept quiet about the request, also noting his stance has prompted some hurtful criticism from folks who aren’t in the know.
“For me, the hard part was when I got traded, it was the people kinda putting words in my mouth like why he wants out. This happened or this happened,” he told Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek Monday on the 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, per Sportsnet.ca.
“These are people that have never met me, that have no idea who I am, have probably never even done an interview with me. It was kind of tough to deal with that. It was hard on my parents, to be honest. For my mom to see stuff like that, it was tough on her.
“That was a very hard part in my life, and I went through it, and I’m still alive. There’s worse things that can happen.”
After Dubois informed the Blue Jackets of his intention to leave, he and agent Pat Brisson decided to explain his reasoning to management at Columbus, but not reporters or anyone else.
“The classiest way to do it is to talk less,” the player said. But he did suffer after folks came to their own conclusions and rumours began sounding like the truth. It stressed him to the point where he asked his agent if he should just get it off his chest.
“Can I do it? Can I say it? Can I just go talk?” he claimed to ask Brisson.
It turned out to be a dull season for Dubois, who struggled both mentally and physically as he registered career lows in goals, assists and plus/minus. He also did not score in the playoffs.
The Canadian conceded that he never felt good during the campaign but is of the opinion the struggle will make him a better player. According to the forward’s father, he has never skated as much as he has this summer in an offseason.
Despite the backlash, Dubois still thinks staying quiet is the right way to go about things
“Maybe one day, when I retire, maybe I’ll write a book,” he said.
“You know, the organization did so many good things for me. They drafted me third overall when nobody thought I’d go third overall. They gave me a chance. So, I don’t know why I’d go out there and say bad things or say things that I might regret later on.
“I didn’t think anybody there deserved that – the staff, the players, the fans. I thought that maybe saying less would annoy people and make people mad, but down the line, I think that’s the best way to be respectful.”
As sports betting in Canada would have it, the Jets’ Stanley Cup prospects are 45/1, with the Colorado Avalanche favoured to go all the way at 9/2 while the Tampa Bay Lightning are 11/2 and the Vegas Golden Knights are 7/1.
Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews was also interviewed on the aforementioned podcast and has revealed he is on track to be available for Opening Night after having an operation on his left wrist.
“I’m definitely not worried about it,” he told the hosts.
Matthews opted to have surgery to deal with the nagging wrist issue on August 13th, with the decision being made following consultation with specialists and the Maple Leafs’ medical staff. His recovery was projected to be a minimum of six weeks long, which will take him right up to training camp.
The timing of it all has raised eyebrows, with people questions why he waited until August to fix a problem that has been bothering him for as long as it has. The reigning Rocket Richard Trophy champion said that he tried avoiding surgery in the hopes the injury would heal on its own but realized that wasn’t going to be the case after he stepped up his on-ice workouts in Arizona.
“I was able to kinda get it calmed down a little bit,” he explained. “So, after the season we went through that whole process to just kind of see how it goes and see if it feels any better.
“It just didn’t feel right, so I decided to get another opinion and imaging and stuff like that and clean it up a little bit. It’s nothing serious. So I’m happy we got it done.”
The center should have his cast removed in two weeks but he is expected to return to the ice by next week. Even injured, Matthews led the NHL in scoring with 41 goals in 52 games last season but he only scored once in the seven-game series that Toronto lost to the Montreal Canadiens.
“I think it’s hard not to [think about it], in a sense, but there’s nothing that I can do to obviously change that, unfortunately. So, I really just try not to get too hung up on it,” Matthews lamented.
“Now, it’s a new season, it’s a new year. There’s nothing we can do to change that. So, our focus is on the present and moving forward and putting our best foot forward.”