Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kings visit Jets

Forward Pierre-Luc Dubois and the Los Angeles Kings will take on the host Jets in downtown Winnipeg in a Tuesday matchup with a major storyline. It will be Dubois’ first game back in Winnipeg after he was traded to Los Angeles on June 27, 2023, by the Jets in exchange for Alex Iaffalo, Rasmus Kupari and Gabriel Vilardi, as well as a 2024 second-round draft pick. It was part of a sign-and-trade deal, which saw Dubois immediately agree to an eight-year, $68 million contract with the Kings. The Kings are 0-1-1 after home losses to the Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes, the latter by shootout, while the Jets split their first two, falling at Calgary 5-3 before defeating the Florida Panthers on Saturday in Winnipeg 6-4.

Dubois’ three years in Winnipeg were tumultuous, with rumors constantly swirling about his camp attempting to force a trade.

He had been acquired by the Jets Jan. 23, 2021, with a 2022 third-round pick, in exchange for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic, after Dubois’ situation in Columbus had become untenable, following a benching for lackadaisical play.

Dubois produced 123 points (55 goals) in his last two seasons with the Jets. “If they’re cheering my departure, I think I’d question a little bit more my time there,” Dubois told NHL.com on Saturday speaking about his return to Winnipeg. “But it is what it is. “It will be special, I’m sure. I’m sure some fans will see it a little differently, but for me personally it will be special. I spent three great years in Winnipeg. My parents are going to be at the game. To play against some teammates and friends that I have from Winnipeg, it’ll be a special game.” Dubois’ father, Eric, is an assistant coach for the Jets’ AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, who also play out of Winnipeg. Jets coach Rick Bowness, talking Oct. 10 about the identical $59.5 million contracts for center Mark Scheifele and goalie Connor Hellebuyck, included what was likely a thinly veiled shot at DuBois.