UPDATE: According to a report from CBC, the real reason Pierre-Luc Dubois wanted out of Columbus was, as we all thought, a strained relationship with head coach Pierre-Luc Dubois. However, there's more to it than meets the eye.
According to the report Tortorella instructed his assistant coaches to break off communication with Dubois during the team's training camp. Why? We don't know, but that's reportedly what Tortorella did in some sort of motivational tactic?
From the CBC:
When training camp got underway, John Tortorella's assistants had been ordered not to speak to Dubois. The latter then realized the obvious: communication was broken and his work environment was no longer the same. And this childish way of approaching the situation meant that an trade was going to happen very quickly.
More on this story from the perspective of Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen below:
Pierre-Luc Dubois set off a firestorm of controversy for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season, one that concluded with him being traded to the Winnipeg Jets for superstar Patrik Laine this past weekend.
Prior to the trade, Dubois was cryptic about why exactly he wanted out of Columbus, but this past weekend he cleared the air in a one on one interview with CBC's Ron MacLean. Or at least... it was thought he did. Dubois explained his reasoning for the trade, but his former GM in Jarmo Kekalainen isn't buying it. He has, in effect, called out Dubois for hiding the truth.
First up, here's what Dubois had to say to MacLean this past weekend:
“It was a process. I was thinking about it a long time, it wasn’t overnight, it wasn’t I just woke up one morning and it was a decision to make,” Dubois answered. “It was something I thought about, and as negotiations were going, you obviously don’t take anything personally, but as they go longer and longer, you kind of start to think about stuff and situations.”
“At some point I thought…that if it was a longer deal I would’ve wanted [a trade] to happen.”
Kekalainen though, he's calling BS.
“That’s just flat out not true at all and he knows that, so I don’t know why he would say that or even insinuate something like that," Kekalainen said on TSN radio today.
“It took all in all, I think 10 minutes to do his contract when we finally agreed on the length of the deal and we had everything from two years, to three years to eight years on the table. First, we didn’t really talk about it, that’s how Pat Brisson conducts his business, I have the upmost respect for him as a professional and how he handled the negotiations.”
So... Dubois made up a story about strained contract negotiations to cover his ass? Seems likely, to be honest.
There was never any problem with the negotiation of this contract, it came to a conclusion very quickly and I thought what we signed was a fair deal for both sides,” Kekalainen explained.
“There was nothing about these negotiations and I wish that Pierre-Luc would tell the truth about why he wanted out. He hasn’t even told me; he hasn’t told his teammates or anybody else. It certainly wasn’t about contract negotiations; I can assure you of that.”
I gotta say... I don't know if we'll ever get to the bottom of this. For all the praise Dubois received for speaking up this past weekend, I couldn't help but feel like there was more underneath his words. To me, he's clearly hiding something and Kekalainen's comment only help cement that in my mind.