Add another layer to the drama.
If there's a silver lining, the Blue Jackets are experts in juggling it.
This all started on New Year's Eve, when TSN/The Athletic NHL insider Pierre LeBrun dropped another wet blanket on 2020 in reporting Pierre-Luc Dubois' desire for a "change of scenery."
A few hours later, Dubois and the team had put pen to paper on a new two-year, $10 million deal that also wasn't without nuance. The trade request remains on the table and there's been a cloud over Blue Jackets training camp since it opened on Sunday. Does this all sound familiar?
On Monday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman appeared on SN960 radio in Calgary to discuss the Dubois situation. As Friedman explained, Dubois would like to play on "a bigger stage" meaning the situation in Columbus isn't bright enough for him.
"It's not solely (a potential conflict with John Tortorella)," Friedman said. "You'd be wrong to say it's simply a Tortorella thing. For whatever reason, I think he (Dubois) wants a bigger stage and that's kind of what we're looking at here."
Now, a lot of factors are in play and outside of an ongoing pandemic, restricted team finances and a flat salary cap, it will be difficult to resolve this situation in the near term. Blockbuster trades rarely, if ever, come together in a matter of days.
Also difficult to pull off is turning Columbus, Ohio into, say, Las Vegas.
"I think there's an understanding (from Dubois) this may not be a short process," Friedman said.
This is tough for the Blue Jackets, a team that has long had a void at center ice and drafted Dubois third overall in 2016 with the intention of giving him the opportunity to be a star. Remember how many experts jumped on GM Jarmo Kekalainen at the time? He stuck to his guns and believed in Dubois.
The team is not without blame here, either. They've got a well-chronicled track record in this department.
It's an equally tough look for Dubois, who has had 1.5(ish) strong NHL seasons and has decided that what he's got going on right now isn't good enough. He has also yet to show that he can be a consistent, dominant player – something he will be expected to do regardless of where he ends up. This is the NHL, after all.
For now, the Blue Jackets will stay the course with a new season less than two weeks away. But it wouldn't be a hockey season in Columbus with some drama, would it?
H/T to SpecmenceCBJ for the video clip