3 reasons why the Pierre-Luc Dubois experiment could fail for Washington Capitals 

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Los Angeles Kings
3 reasons why the Pierre-Luc Dubois experiment could fail for Washington Capitals

Center Pierre-Luc Dubois has been traded to the Washington Capitals in exchange for goaltender Darcy Kuemper, as per NHL.com. The one-for-one trade seemingly solves a problem for both clubs. On the one hand, the Capitals need a center to play alongside superstar winger Alexander Ovechkin.

On the other hand, the Los Angeles Kings need a legitimate goaltender to handle duties this upcoming season. Kuemper, who already had a brief stint with the Kings during the 2017-2018 season, is a familiar face for the franchise.

While the deal seems like a fair exchange overall, there is reason to believe that the Pierre-Luc Dubois experiment could backfire on the Capitals.

Here's a closer look at three reasons why the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade could come back to haunt the Caps.

3 reasons why the Pierre-Luc Dubois experiment could fail in Washington

#1. Declining numbers

Dubois’ numbers have been on the decline of late. He registered a career-high 63 points in 2022-2023. That performance led to an eight-year deal worth $68 million in Los Angeles. Since signing the contract, Dubois has 40 points. That’s hardly the production any team would expect from a player with an $8.5 million cap hit.

So, can the Capitals expect the 60-point Pierre-Luc Dubois? Or will they get the 40-point player? Considering the cap hit, this contract could age badly.

#2. A massive contract

Speaking of Dubois’ massive contract, the significant cap hit could limit the Capitals’ chances of adding more players to the roster. Now, one could argue that the Capitals only took on about $3 million in additional cap space since Kuemper’s $5.25 million cap hit is off the books.

However, the Capitals only have about $1.15 million in project cap space, according to PuckPedia. As such, what do the Capitals do? They cannot say that Dubois will solve all their problems. Sure, it might be a good start, but that extra $3 million in cap space could have been allocated toward other needs.

It seems the Capitals may not be done wheeling and dealing. The club will need to clear more cap space to make room for other needs on the blue line and in their bottom six.

#3. Not a top-line center

Perhaps the most glaring issue is that Pieer-Luc Dubois is arguably not a top-line center. 60 points per season while playing shaky defense is not what is expected from a top-line center. The Kings perhaps made a mistake in paying Dubois like a No. 1 center. Nevertheless, they were lucky to shed his contract.

As for the Capitals, they are banking that Dubois could blossom into the player the Columbus Blue Jackets envisioned when they picked him No. 3 overall in 2016. However, they may end up paying a hefty price for a second-line center at best.

What do you think of the trade between the Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Edited by Veer Badani
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