Manor 2024 LA Kings Exit Interviews: Dubois – ‘I’m Ready to Move On’


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There may not ever again be a player who produced 16 goals who has so much written or said about him. Despite 95% of the people weighing in having never even spoken to PL Dubois, nearly everybody around the hockey world has an opinion about the 25-year-old forward. In the eyes of some, he was already a lightning rod of controversary upon his arrival in Los Angeles, yet the rhetoric only ramped up as the 2023-24 NHL season wore along.

Now, following the Kings third straight first round exit, Dubois spoke with the gathered media at the team’s training facility in El Segundo, sharing his thoughts on a myriad of subjects as part of this year’s annual exit interviews.

Below is what he shared…

Dubois on how he can fix things before next season:

Have a good summer, work hard in the gym, skate. There are a lot of things that you can do. I’m committed to having a better season. I’ll do anything to be better.

On all the changes this season — from a new city, linemates, positions, etc. — and what worked vs. didn’t work:

When you show up to a new team, there are a lot of new things. New roles, new systems, and everything. I played on a lot of lines this year. I think any player, at the end of the day, wants stability and consistency, because then you can build some chemistry and get things rolling. I think that’s not a secret or anything that anybody feels differently. The consistency of knowing who you’re going out there with, and building that chemistry, that that helps a lot.

Next year is a new year. We’ll see what happens. The only thing I can control is how good of a summer I can have. I’ll show up next year and be ready.

On if he was surprised to come here and be used as a bottom-six forward on the half-wall after having success in Winnipeg playing more of a net-front role as a top-six forward:

I can only control what I can control, right? I had my role in Winnipeg that I thought I did well. I had success there. But my first year there was a different story. I had to build, I had to work, and I got to where I wanted to. My last season in Winnipeg, I thought it went well. I was in a [position] I was comfortable with and you can keep building towards a goal. Every day you show up, you know what your role is, you know what your job is. You have that that base, that stability, that you can build on. It helps a lot. Then, when you go to a new team, you can continue that or it could be completely different and new. I can only control what I can control.

At the end of the day, I know, I can do better. My first year in Winnipeg didn’t go well. It was kind of the same thing. A lot of new things, new role, new everything. I didn’t panic, I knew what I could do. I knew that once I found that stability that I could do good things. I worked for it, and I achieved that. So, I’m not panicking. I’m not stressed. Was it frustrating? Sure. Was it hard? Yeah. But, eight months ago to a year ago, I was playing how I can play. It’s not lost. It’s just, I have to get back to it, and that’s on me.

On if he’s thinking about the possibility of being traded or even bought out after just one season in LA:

I can’t. It’s out of my control. I’m a firm believer in ‘everything happens for a reason.’ It’s out of my control, what happens. I just have to have the summer I know I can have, be ready for next year. Anything else? That’s out of my control. That’s not that’s not up to me. So, I can’t sit here and give you anything more of that.

On several of his Kings teammates being open to a shift away from 1-3-1 and if he’d like to see that happen:

Everybody has opinions, right? It’s different than what I’ve played in the past. It has its pros, for sure. And it also has his cons, like every system. You can go to 2-1-2, and have the same thing. [Go to the] 1-2-2, whatever. Everything has pros and cons. I think the 1-3-1… I’ve never had to talk about systems like this [repeatedly to the media] on the teams I played on in the past. There were some nights I think it worked well for us, and some nights it didn’t work as well. I’m not the coach. I’m not the one making those decisions. I had to adjust to it. It’s very different than what I was used to, but that’s not really my call. I’ll do whatever system I’m asked to do.

On if there is a particular system he thinks he can excel in:

Like I said, with time, stability, you can learn to be good in anything. It’s definitely unconventional for what I’ve done my whole life. So, there are times in game situations where you have to think a little bit more. Sometimes when you think a little bit more, you’re a little bit slower and your reads are [too]. It definitely took a while for me to get used to it. Even still, sometimes, it’s so different that you’re in situations you’ve never been in before. I think anything in life, though, if you work at it, you can get better.

On how much he thinks the coaching change contributed to any instability:

Once again, this is out of my control. Jimmy was the assistant coach before, so it wasn’t brand new. It was a little different. We didn’t really change much from before. And then throwing DJ in, who I was fortunate to work with at the World Championships 2-3 years ago — I had a good tournament there and he was a big part of that team. I got to know him and got to work with him, so I was excited to see him with the coaching staff. He helped me a lot this year. I really enjoyed working with DJ. It’s just another change. Another curveball. [Hiller] was already part of the coaching staff, so that wasn’t that different.

On his January comments about wanting more guidance and if it improved as the season moved along:

Like I said, DJ showing up helped me a lot. I really enjoyed working with him at the World Championships. I really enjoyed working with him here. So he helped me a lot. Everybody has a different approach of how to manage and everything. I have one job, and it’s to deliver. I have to be better. It was different, but at the end of the day, it’s on me.

On if there are any positives he can take from this season:

[a quick chuckle, rather exasperating] Yeah. Was it frustrating? Yeah. Did I play like I can? Some nights, some games, some spurts throughout the season. I think of the first seven games after the bye week, when Jimmy came, I thought it went well. Then, Arvy got hurt.

So, getting to know everybody. Being a part of this organization, this culture. I learned a lot this year. I think you can learn in good, but you could also learn in bad. Even though it wasn’t the season that personally I necessarily wanted to have, I learned a lot this year. I grew a lot. I’m ready to move on and have a good summer and be ready for next year.

On if he’s a wing or a center:

I’ll go anywhere I need to go. I think I’m a centerman. My first year in Winnipeg, there were some games I played all three positions in one game, on four different lines. I think stability is key. But I think I’m a centerman. I can play wing. Like anything, you can learn and become better. But, I think I’m a centerman.

On if he needs to be in a top six role:

Everybody wants to be. You can ask any guy in the NHL, everybody wants to play more and have bigger minutes. You have to earn it. Everybody wants to play more. Everybody wants to play on the first power play. Everybody wants to be on the first line, but not everybody can. Does it help? Yeah, it can help your game, for sure. Like I said, when I was in Winnipeg, I was [there] and I had success. That’s out of my control.

On what he can do to show the organization he deserves to be there:

That’s on me. To show them, to be better.

On if the expectations to him were clear:

[long pause] There’s a lot of ways you can look at it. But at the end of the day — and I hate to be repeating myself like this, but — it’s on me. If I play like I can play, we’re not having these questions right now. I take the blame. I take responsibility. It’s just on me to be a better player.


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