TORONTO – Pierre-Luc Dubois is still staying tight-lipped on why he requested a trade out of Columbus last season.
But the Winnipeg Jets centre is now providing insight as to why he chose the “no comment” path — and how his own silence fuelled some painful speculation from the outside.
“For me, the hard part was when I got traded, it was the people kinda putting words in my mouth like why he wants out. This happened or this happened,” Dubois told Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek Monday during a recording of the 31 Thoughts: The Podcast.
“These are people that have never met me, that have no idea who I am, have probably never even done an interview with me. It was kind of tough to deal with that. It was hard on my parents, to be honest. For my mom to see stuff like that, it was tough on her.
“That was a very hard part in my life, and I went through it, and I’m still alive. There’s worse things that can happen.”
Once Dubois, 23, made it known that he wanted out of Columbus, he and agent Pat Brisson made another decision.
They would explain the reasons behind the trade request to the Blue Jackets brass but decline to go into detail with reporters or anyone else, keeping Dubois’s motivation private.
“The classiest way to do it is to talk less,” Dubois said.
And yet, silence opened the door for speculation. Dubois struggled when the false rumours turned into truth in some people’s minds.
“Can I do it? Can I say it? Can I just go talk?” Dubois asked Brisson at one point.
Riding a mental and physical (two injuries) roller coaster all season, the forward put up career lows in goals (nine), assists (12) and plus/minus (-8). He failed to score in the playoffs.
Dubois admitted Monday that he never felt comfortable all season, but believes the adversity will only make him stronger in the long run.
Teammate Mark Scheifele ran into Dubois’s father at a golf course this summer, and Eric Dubois said his son has never skated so much in one off-season.
He’s ready to turn the page and still believes keeping quiet was the more mature route.
“Maybe one day, when I retire, maybe I’ll write a book,” Dubois said.
“You know, the organization did so many good things for me. They drafted me third overall when nobody thought I'd go third overall. They gave me a chance. So, I don't know why I’d go out there and say bad things or say things that I might regret later on.
“I didn't think anybody there deserved that — the staff, the players, the fans. I thought that maybe saying less would annoy people and make people mad, but down the line, I think that’s the best way to be respectful.”
Check for Dubois’s full interview on an upcoming episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast.