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Blake admits erring on Dubois: He 'wasn't a great fit'

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Kings general manager Rob Blake acknowledged he deserves some of the blame for Pierre-Luc Dubois' disappointing tenure in Los Angeles after shipping the center out Wednesday.

"I don't think I did a good enough job integrating him in the right roles on the team here this year," the GM told reporters after trading Dubois to the Washington Capitals for goaltender Darcy Kuemper. "I think it wasn't a great fit in that aspect for us, and we'll take responsibility for that."

Blake didn't elaborate, simply noting he and the club could've done more.

"I put it on us," he said. "We've got to work better as a group within this organization to make that fit."

The GM also revealed that trade discussions started picking up earlier this month.

"I think the attention, probably from the (scouting) combine in Buffalo where teams start to talk ... kind of took place from there," he said.

Last June, Blake landed Dubois in a sign-and-trade from the Winnipeg Jets for forwards Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, and Rasmus Kupari, along with a second-round pick in this year's draft. The Jets inked him to an eight-year, $68-million contract before sending him to L.A. because the Kings would've only been able to give him seven years.

Dubois was coming off a campaign with Winnipeg in which he tied his career high of 27 goals and established new personal bests in assists (36) and points (63). However, he failed to match those numbers in his first and only season with the Kings.

The pivot, who'll turn 26 on Monday, collected only 16 goals and 24 assists, though he did play all 82 games for the first time since 2018-19. Dubois also authored favorable underlying numbers with a 53.88 expected goals for percentage and a 53.66 scoring chances for percentage, per Natural Stat Trick.

However, his average ice time of 15:42 was the second-lowest of his seven-year career.

Dubois spent his first three seasons and five games of his fourth with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who drafted him third overall in 2016. The Blue Jackets dealt him and a third-round selection to the Jets for Patrick Laine and Jack Roslovic in January 2021.

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