The relationship between the Columbus Blue Jackets and supposed franchise star Pierre-Luc Dubois has gone sour, but general manager Jarmo Kekalainen still doesn't know exactly why the 22-year-old wanted out. However, he remains positive the reason had nothing to do with the contract negotiations between the two sides.
"There was never any problem with the negotiation of this contract, it came to a conclusion very quickly," Kekalainen said Monday on TSN Radio 1050's "Leafs Lunch."
"... Once the player and the agent wanted to engage in the talks and we agreed on the length, it was a very easy process. 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."
Shortly after both parties agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal in late December, reports revealed Dubois had requested a trade. While no specific reason was given, there was speculation the Quebec native became unhappy during the negotiations.
Dubois hasn't given a specific reason for his demand but recently divulged the move was something he had been thinking about, and his feelings strengthened during the negotiations.
"It was a process, I was thinking about a long time, it wasn't overnight. It wasn't I just woke up one morning and it was a decision to make. It was something that I thought about," Dubois said to Sportsnet's Ron MacLean.
"As negotiations were going, obviously you don't take anything personally, but as they go longer and longer, you kind of start to think about stuff and situations."
When Kekalainen was asked whether he believed the talks caused Dubois to request a trade, he vehemently denied it.
"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 because that’s not true," Kekalainen said.