NHL

Pierre-Luc Dubois trade details: Kings send center to Capitals for goaltender Darcy Kuemper

Pierre-Luc Dubois is heading to his fourth NHL team in eight years.

Just one year after the Kings acquired the center in a blockbuster trade with the Jets, Los Angeles is parting ways with the 25-year-old, sending him to Washington in exchange for Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper. 

The trade is one-for-one — one of the rarer deals seen in hockey, especially among high-profile names. 

Dubois had a massively disappointing 2023-24 season in L.A. The Kings signed him to a massive extension as a part of the 2023 sign-and-trade with the Jets, but he did not live up to expectations. In 82 games, the No. 3 pick from 2016 scored just 16 goals and added 24 assists, giving him 40 points — his lowest total in a full season. 

On the flip side, Kuemper was also underwhelming in the nation’s capital. He was signed in 2022 to be the team’s starting goaltender, but he lost the No. 1 job to Charlie Lindgren during the season. Kuemper received 33 starts this past campaign, going 13-14-3 with a 3.31 GAA and .890 save percentage. 

Here are the full details of the Dubois-Kuemper trade between the Kings and Capitals. 

MORE: Full details of the Jacob Markstrom trade to the Devils

Pierre-Luc Dubois trade details

  • Capitals receive: F Pierre-Luc Dubois
  • Kings receive: G Darcy Kuemper

The deal is a simple, one-for-one transaction. Dubois heads to the Capitals to give Washington help down the middle, while the Kings’ revolving door in the crease continues, this time bringing in Kuemper to shore up the goaltending situation. 

When Dubois was brought in by Los Angeles a year ago, the team committed to him by handing out an eight-year deal that carries an AAV of $8.5 million. He was viewed as someone who could center the second line, giving the Kings an excellent trio down the middle along with Anze Kopitar and Philip Danault. 

That never happened. Dubois was thrown up and down the lineup, as the combination of Todd McClellan and  Jim Hiller tried their best to find the best linemates to maximize Dubois’ potential. It never came, and as a result, the center underperformed again — something that is a trend with Dubois. 

Washington desperately needs help at center, especially with the future of Niklas Backstrom up in the air. Dubois gives them another option to deploy with Dylan Strome, and Spencer Carbery will have to see if he can do what the Blue Jackets, Jets and Kings all could not with the big center. 

For the Kings, GM Rob Blake is admitting defeat by sending the center away after just one year in L.A. In hindsight, Los Angeles got fleeced by Winnipeg, who acquired forwards Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo and Rasmus Kupari, as well as a second-round pick, for Dubois in the 2023 deal. 

However, he was not dumped for nothing. Los Angeles hasn’t had a steady member in the crease since Jonathan Quick’s decline from starter to backup. Bringing in Kuemper gives the team another option in net, although it’s not great that he lost the job in Washington to Lindgren. The move also creates about $4 million in cap space for the Kings to work with. Los Angeles defenseman Matt Roy is a pending UFA, and the saved cash may help the team keep Roy around on the blue line. 

Pierre-Luc Dubois contract

Dubois is in the second year of the maximum eight-year, $68 million contract he signed as a part of the sign-and-trade last year with the Kings and Jets. He carries an AAV of $8.5 million. 

The center will be an unrestricted free agent in 2031. 

Year AAV
2024-25 $8,500,000
2025-26 $8,500,000
2026-27 $8,500,000
2027-28 $8,500,000
2028-29 $8,500,000
2029-30 $8,500,000
2030-31 $8,500,000
2031-32 UFA

Darcy Kuemper contract

Kuemper is in the third year of the three-year, $26.25 million contract he signed with the Capitals in 2022 free agency. He carries an AAV of $5.25 million. 

The goaltender will be an unrestricted free agent in 2027. 

Year AAV
2024-25 $5,250,000
2025-26 $5,250,000
2026-27 $5,250,000
2027-28 UFA
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