Report: Blue Jackets looking to trade Patrick Laine at deadline

Published May 14, 2021 at 8:41 PM

Following a media availability in which Patrik Laine was extremely complimentary of the Columbus Blue Jackets organisation, his former coach, and his willingness to possibly remain with the team, it's curious that a rumour surfaced on Tuesday that the Blue Jackets are open to trading him. It's particularly intriguing because Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen has expressed complete faith in Laine's ability to rebound from a disappointing season.

According to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline, Kekalainen is more open to trading Laine than he has ever been. There was some speculation, but not much, that Laine could be traded during the NHL Trade Deadline, when the Blue Jackets were selling off other assets. Midway through the season, he was acquired in an exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois, but he struggled to adjust to his new surroundings. There was alleged tension with John Tortorella, but it was often assumed that the Blue Jackets were trying to put the pieces in place to help Laine succeed.

However, others inside the company, according to Portzline, "would favour him being a one-and-done." They must have seen enough of Laine to realise that investing in him for the long term at a high dollar valuation isn't a good idea. They point to Laine's poor body language or the lack of a centre who can play the game at his own speed as reasons to create a team around him. Finally, his energy and enthusiasm are seriously questioned.

Portzline adds, «Kekalainen is said to be more open to trading Laine now than he was at the trade deadline. (Does Laine, Korpisalo and the two late-first-round picks get Eichel?)»

The Blue Jackets seem to be spinning their wheels.
What is Columbus doing if a Laine trade is really happening? They traded a top-line centre for a top-line winger, then traded the top-line winger and some bits for a top-line centre? The Blue Jackets will once again require a top-line winger if they accomplish this. What good is having the centre they want if they don't have a winger to go with him?
May 14   |   186 answers
Report: Blue Jackets looking to trade Patrick Laine at deadline

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