As the Columbus Blue Jackets begin to try and pick up the pieces from their slow start, they have another elephant in the room that doesn't look like it is going to go away. Forward Pierre-Luc Dubois was benched in the first period of the team's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Dubois only saw 3:55 of ice time and from all accounts, it looks like he was benched due to poor play rather than some ulterior motive that no one is aware of. His final shift before the benching was a telling display of where his mind is at currently.
Here's an iso of Pierre-Luc Dubois' final shift for the Blue Jackets tonight. The center saw 3:55 of ice time for the night and did not take a shift after the first period.#CBJ— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) January 22, 2021
More: https://t.co/dkWp3poyVI pic.twitter.com/BcGQgJwheP
If you're going to talk to anyone about the benching itself though, no one is going to give up any information. Tensions seemingly are reaching a boiling point.
“I get you guys have to ask me the questions, but I think you’re asking the wrong guy," said head coach John Tortorella. "I’m just a coach, trying to make it work with the hockey club, trying to find a way to win games. The person you keep asking me about, you should ask him.”
Funny enough, Dubois declined to speak last night after requests from the assembled media. So if he doesn't want to talk about it and the coach is not putting him on the ice. What else is there to do other than trade him?
The fork in the road that the Blue Jackets were going to be approaching seemed like it was going to be a more long and winding road than one that was only going to come five games into the season. So now they have to decide, do you scratch Dubois in hopes that he doesn't tank his value, or do you pull the trigger as his value may not get higher.
“As I’ve told you many times, I really don’t make the decisions as far as minutes,” Tortorella said. “It’s up to the player to show me. If there’s one thing I’m pretty easy to read on, it’s the minutes."
While that may be the case, it looks like all parties involved have all made a conscious decision. Do what needs to be done so everyone can move on. Until then, it will only be a distraction.
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