Patrik Laine wants out of Columbus, what does that mean for the Winnipeg Jets?

Photo credit:Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
By Goose
1 month ago
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Early today it was announced that former Winnipeg Jet Patrik Laine has requested a trade out of Columbus. Should Kevin Cheveldayoff call Don Waddell to see if the Finnish-born player could return to Winnipeg?
I am going to say probably not. As much fun as it would be to live in the world where Patrik Laine scores 50 goals for the Winnipeg Jets, it just doesn’t make sense for anyone involved. This means nothing for the Jets except maybe a 2-minute call to Columbus that goes nowhere.
Personally, I would like to know, where would you even put Laine in the lineup? If the Jets moved for him, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for the Jets to trade Nikolaj Ehlers out of Winnipeg for Laine, as they are friends and would be a good morale boost for each other.
The only way Cheveldayoff brings Laine in is if he can convince Ehlers to sign a contract extension after July 1st. He could use Laine as a carrot if he thinks Ehlers is that valuable.
The $8.7 million contract would be just too much for the Jets to swallow as well. They only have $13.6 million in cap space. The production of Laine since joining the Blue Jackets in January 2021 has been bad, scoring just 0.36 goals a game. In total, the right-shot forward has only played 174 games and scored 64 goals.
A lot of that is due to injury, but this last season, Laine joined the player assistance program to help with mental health. Which is amazing and I wish all the best to Laine as well as any of you going through a mental fight. But he hasn’t played much professional hockey in the last year.
Laine is currently a low-value player with a steep contract. The Jets would only have to trade one bona fide NHLer or a package with a young player to get the 6’5 forward.
If the trade was going to be a legitimate NHLer from Winnipeg going to Columbus, it would probably start and finish with Kyle Connor out and coming back would be Laine, $2.5 million retained, and a first-round pick.
If it was a package, it could be something like Pionk and Perfetti going out for Laine and Cole Sillinger, with maybe $1 million retained.
It’s a fun idea thinking about bringing back the Jets’ 2016 second overall pick, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to bring him back even though the locker room has changed for the best.
Maybe we can catch him on a second tour of duty in The Peg a little later down the road when the contract isn’t so bad. As of now, it means nothing for the Jets.

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