Kings Trade Center Pierre-Luc Dubois to Capitals for Goalie Darcy Kuemper

Columbus Blue Jackets centre Pierre-Luc Dubois in August 2020
Columbus Blue Jackets centre Pierre-Luc Dubois in August 2020. Photo by Canadian Press/Shutterstock (10735794x)

The Los Angeles Kings announced on Wednesday that they have traded veteran center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Washington Capitals. In exchange, the Kings will receive goalie Darcy Kuemper.

The deal is reportedly a pure one-for-one trade, with neither team retaining any salary and no picks involved.

Dubois joined the Kings in a trade from the Winnipeg Jets ahead of the 2023-24 season. The LA team gave up three players, including forward Alex Iafallo, and a second-round pick in the deal while signing  Dubois to an eight-year, $68 million contract.

Despite being expected to become a new star for the Kings, Dubois delivered a disappointing campaign. He managed just 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points in 82 games of the regular season while being limited to one point in the postseason.

The move for the Kings was likely motivated by their desire to get off Dubois’ contract, which will pay him $59.5 million in the next seven years. Meanwhile, they are getting a former All-Star in Kuemper to boost their struggling goalkeeping unit.

On the other hand, the Capitals are taking a gamble that Dubois can still reach his full potential and return to his previous form, which saw him record 63 points with the Jets in 2022-23.

“This acquisition brings in a talented 25-year-old with immense potential to become a top-tier center in the NHL,” said Capitals GM Brian MacLellan in a statement after the trade was announced. “With his size, exceptional skating, and high hockey IQ, we are confident he will thrive in our organization with increased responsibility and opportunity.”