The name of Pierre-Luc Dubois never seems to want to come off the Canadiens.

Hockey informant Elliotte Friedman ignited discussions on social networks this week: “The Jets have spoken about Dubois occasionally to the Canadiens. We know 95% that it will end up in Montreal. Is there a way we can work it out so the Canadian gets it sooner so we can get something? They talked about it. »

The Canadian holds the big end of the stick in this file. Dubois will become an unrestricted free agent as of July 2024 and has already expressed his desire to continue his career in Montreal.

The Montreal organization is in no hurry. Kent Hughes, we recall, recently told colleague Pierre Lebrun that the team was still two or three years away from becoming a top club.

Why waste a first-round pick and top prospect in the middle of a rebuilding process, for a player you could get on the free agent market in a year?

At the limit, Hughes can listen to his counterpart Kevin Cheveldayoff. If he deems it appropriate to integrate Dubois earlier into his training, there is no harm in discussing. The GM of the Canadian knows he is in a position of strength. The Jets won’t want to lose Dubois for nothing in a year. Hughes will be able to set his price.

Dubois would obviously speed up the recovery process in Montreal, without mortgaging the future. He’s 24, just a year older than Nick Suzuki.

With 58 points, including 25 goals, in 66 games, he had the best offensive season of his career, en route to producing 31 goals and 72 points in an 82-game season.

A 6-foot-4, 214-pound (according to NHL data) left-handed center would be a perfect complement to Nick Suzuki, 5-foot-11, 208 pounds, and Kirby Dach, 6-foot-4, 212 pounds. Montreal would count on three talented, strong centers, all aged 25 or less.

But, we repeat, and we insist, the Canadian is in no hurry. Winger Alex DeBrincat had just scored 41 goals when the Senators got him last summer for their 7th overall pick in 2022, their early second-round pick (39th overall) and a third round in 2024.

DeBrincat, too, was 24 and a year away from getting his free agency with compensation, that is, with his rights still attached to the team.

A center always has greater value, but the Blackhawks weren’t in a weak position like the Jets are. They had the leisure to keep his services, even in a process of reconstruction.

There would be no harm in accelerating, and securing, Dubois’ arrival in Montreal. But not at any price. The Canadiens’ 2023 first-round pick sits fifth overall at the moment. It would be downright foolish to offer him to the Jets for Dubois.

The one obtained from the Panthers for Ben Chiarot is ranked 14th. He could drop to 11th at the rate Florida has been losing games for a week. Kent Hughes doesn’t have to touch his 2023 picks.

The Jets may be able to secure a late first-round pick and a deal deadline prospect next year as a rental player if he retains Dubois for another 11 months. But Cheveldayoff will be placed in a very uncomfortable situation with Jets fans if he decides to trade him in the middle of the race for a playoff spot.

If he cares about Dubois quickly, the DG of the Canadian is full of hopes in several positions. And there will be no room for all these players. There is a way to create a shortlist of “untouchables” and let the Jets pick from Mesar, Heineman, Kidney, Roy, Struble, Trudeau and company. Hughes, an intelligent man, will take advantage of his favorable balance of power if the Jets insist on trading Dubois to him.

Another important element to consider is the salary balance. How much will Pierre-Luc Dubois charge for his contract extension? Captain Nick Suzuki is the team’s highest earner among active players with his $7.8 million salary. Cole Caufield will undoubtedly be paid in these waters.

Suzuki has amassed 61 points in 74 games for a weak club. Dubois shows 58 points in 66 games surrounded by formidable forwards such as Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers.

It is difficult to imagine the CH welcoming Dubois with an annual salary of 9 million for eight years, say…

In short, it is obviously allowed to dream of Dubois in the uniform of the Canadian, this summer or next year. But Kent Hughes, a fierce negotiator, also has the leisure of its price, and the moment of its acquisition.

The recall of young goaltender Cayden Primeau, the starting goaltender Tuesday night in Philadelphia, may surprise some. But the Canadian wants to be able to assess it more clearly by the end of the season, so as to make a more informed decision in anticipation of next year.

Primeau, 23, will face waivers for the first time in his career in 2023-24 if he is demoted to the American League. Samuel Montembeault, 26, superior to Jake Allen this winter, is under contract for another year, at an annual salary of one million, and Allen, 32, will hold two more years of contract at 3.8 million per season.

Primeau has a modest 14-14-6 record, 3.13 GAA and .906 save percentage in Laval, but is posting a 2.33 GAA and .924 save percentage during his last nine games, in the middle of a playoff race.

Testing Primeau in a few games over the next three weeks will allow the organization to prepare its decisions for the next season, instead of making a hasty decision at the conclusion of training camp.