Rumour: multiple players, staff in Columbus think Patrik Laine should be moved this summer

T. Tadi
July 10, 2021  (5:27 PM)

Patrik Laine has become quite a polarizing figure in the hockey community since being drafted 2nd overall back in 2016. His apparent reputation for being a selfish player was heavily speculated as being one of the primary reasons why the Winnipeg Jets dealt him to the Columbus Blue Jackets last season.

While it's easier to overlook a player's shortcomings when they're producing at a high rate offensively, when the well dries up, it doesn't leave too much room for leniency and niceties, especially when it's a player like Laine, who was expected to be the answer to the offensive production issues in Columbus.
Laine had a very forgettable first season in Columbus, managing just 10 goals and 21 points in 45 games for the Blue Jackets in 2020-21 - a far cry from the 28-goal, 63-point campaign he had with the Jets in 68 games in 2019-20. This has led to some unrest in Columbus, not just in the fan base, but in the locker room and the front office as well.
According to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline on Serius XM Radio, there are multiple players and staff members in Columbus who believe that Laine being traded is a preferable outcome at this point.
"There are those in the organization, including players, that would prefer this," Portzline said of Laine potentially being moved.
Whether or not Laine is moved at this point, with his value being at an all-time low, it's likely not going to be a favourable return for the Blue Jackets.
Laine is set to become a restricted free agent on July 28th and will have arbitration rights. The 23-year-old carried a $6.75M cap hit in each of his last two seasons and it seems likely at this point that he will elect to go to arbitration in an attempt to secure a one-year deal and head to unrestricted free agency next summer where he'll try to cash in on a longer term deal.
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