A Patrik Laine trade out of Columbus is possible, here’s three potential deals

patrik laine trade
Feb 7, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Patrik Laine (29) celebrates a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

A Patrik Laine trade out of Columbus is possible as he may have worn out his welcome after just one season. Apparently, John Tortorella leaving hasn’t changed the outlook for Laine who is growing an unfavorable reputation in the organization. That has led to some talk that some in Columbus are good with moving him this offseason.

Blue Jackets open to trading Patrick Laine

Jarmo Kekalainen held his exit meeting with the Blue Jackets players and told them changes were coming. The team has a lot of uncertainty and challenges to deal with. Primarily, they need to make sure Seth Jones goes nowhere. Of course, there is hiring a new coach, maybe trading a goalie, and getting a top center.

Now that conversations have started with Jones on an extension, it may behoove the GM to trade Laine’s RFA rights before having to work out a new contract. Laine is coming off a two-year deal with a $6.75 million AAV and has arbitration rights. He’s looking at either a one year deal, or a long term contract that will take him to UFA status. Regardless, the Jackets are looking at an AAV of anywhere between $7.5 to $9 million.

The question to Kekalainen is if he’s worth investing that much money when you desperately need to improve at center. That’s why there’s chatter about moving him.

Patrik Laine had a rough first season in Columbus, and there are those in the organization who would support him being a one-and-done. Laine’s body language was dreadful most nights. The Blue Jackets don’t have a center who can play the game at his pace, absolutely, but the bigger issue was his energy level and passion to play the game.

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patrik laine trade
Patrik Laine debuts for Columbus (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Patrick Laine trade to Buffalo Sabres for Jack Eichel

Everyone who lives on this planet knows Jack Eichel wants out of Buffalo. The Jackets are a potential player in a trade scenario and have a big enough piece to get a conversation started. Laine and a top draft pick could be enough to land Eichel out of Buffalo. From a talent perspective, Laine may be the best NHL proven talent they could get in a trade for their disgruntled center.

Here’s the problem, if the Sabres trade one headache they are certainly not looking for another. Eichel’s disconnect over his injury and lack of team success was built over time. Laine may simply be too hard to coach. Regardless, there will be other centers available and Laine may be the asset Jarmo uses to acquire him.

Calgary Flames: Sean Monahan

The Calgary Flames are looking to make changes this summer. They are kicking around the idea of trading winger, Johnny Gaudreau and center, Sean Monahan. Would these two teams decide to get together on a potential one for one deal involving Laine and Monahan?

For the Jackets, Monahan may not be your quintessential 1C but he’s a gamer. He has two more years on a deal that pays him $6.375 million, this would actually be a savings for Kekalainen in light of what Laine will get. Obviously it creates a hole at center, but maybe the Flames could use Gaudreau to help with that.

Philadelphia Flyers: Kevin Hayes

The Flyers are said to be in the market for another scorer, if they could put together a package for Laine that featured Kevin Hayes would the Jackets bite? Hayes has 5 seasons left at $7.142 million which gives Kekalainen cost certainty. No one considers Hayes a #1 center, but if the package is right Hayes would add good depth down the middle for the Jackets.