Random Thoughts: Mattias Ekholm’s summer in Edmonton, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Pierre-Luc Dubois

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
10 months ago
Happy Saturday, Nation Citizens. It is absolutely scorching in Edmonton right now and that’s why I wanted to throw together a quick edition of Random Thoughts first thing this morning so that I can head to the lake. This week, I’m looking at Mattias Ekholm’s first summer in Edmonton, what the hell is going on in Columbus, and the trade market for Pierre-Luc Dubois.


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Did anyone else smile a little bit when you saw that Mattias Ekholm is still in the city, hanging out with his family and getting himself acclimatized to his new home? How about when you found out that he’s a sore loser and not watching the Stanley Cup Finals? He’s just like me and basically admitted that he hates knowing someone else wins, and I love him for it. Okay so maybe I’m exaggerating his words a little bit to fit my own, but that doesn’t change the fact that seeing his handsome face and freshly trimmed beard sent my heart a flutter.


If you’re looking for something to do tomorrow, why not check out the Edmonton Elks take on the Saskatchewan Rough Riders in the season opener? Based on what I could find, the Elks are expecting 30,000+ fans for the opener and that should set a nice tone as Edmonton looks for its first win at home since the name change. As for Kane, I think it’s pretty cool that he’s also hanging around town so far this summer but what’s even more awesome is that he’s still spending time with Cecily while he’s here. Normally we see guys bailing for the summer as soon as the season ends, so seeing that Kane is still being active in the community is a nice little dose of Oilers sunshine to keep the good vibes going.


What the hell is going on with the Columbus Blue Jackets this past week? In the span of only a few days, Jarmo Kekalainen has swung a pair of monster deals that completely reshaped his blue line. Looking ahead, CBJ’s top four —Werenski, Severson, Provorov, and probably Jiricek — have to rank among the most interesting in the Eastern Conference if not the entire NHL. I’m not saying they’re perfect, but I am saying that landing both Provorov and Severson in the same week will go a long way to solidifying what’s happening on the back end. I hate to say it, but I do get a little bit jealous when I see other teams taking these kinds of swings to drastically reshape what their team looks like ahead of next season. And don’t bother reminding me about our lack of cap space and shallow cupboards when it comes to tradeable assets, I already know it.


Listen, I don’t know anything about anything, but what I do know is that teams around the league should be wary about parting with too many assets to acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois given that there’s a pretty good chance he’s going to hate it when he gets there. While there’s little doubt that the 24-year-old RFA has plenty of talent, the fact that he’s wanted out from both franchises he’s played for has to be a red flag. At least, you’d think so anyway. Over at Daily Faceoff, Frank Seravalli has Dubois at the head of his trade target list and reports that he’ll be in high demand even though I don’t get why you’d want the hassle.
Dubois has rocketed to the top of the list by virtue of his formal trade request. He’s informed the Jets he will not be signing a new contract. The Jets could force him to return next season with a qualifying offer and club-elected arbitration award. That doesn’t appear to be the path Winnipeg will travel down. Instead, the most likely outcome is very similar to what the Flames did last year with Matthew Tkachuk: find a willing party, negotiate an eight-year extension, and then complete the sign and trade. With size, youth and production, Dubois is a power forward in demand.
Frankly, if I’m the team that’s trading for Dubois, I’d be throwing lowball offers at the Jets since the only alternative to a move would be to have him sit out. And since we’ve already seen one sign-and-trade this week that happened for only a third round pick, why wouldn’t you push to land the guy for as little as possible? Honestly, if I didn’t hate them so much, I’d almost feel bad for Winnipeg. I don’t, but it could be close depending on how this PLD situation plays out.


On this week’s podcast, I talked about why I need the Stanley Cup Finals to end, offered my love for silly season, and answered your questions and more in the voicemail. Subscribe to Better Lait Than Never on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you get podcasts.

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