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Blue Jackets Considering Trading Red Hot Patrik Laine

The Columbus Blue Jackets aren’t sure about Patrik Laine’s future with the team. Is it best to trade him while he’s hot?

What is Patrik Laine worth in a trade? That’s a question the Columbus Blue Jackets might be interested in learning the answer to. An inconsistent forward who was once considered one of the best scorers in the NHL is red hot right now — four goals in his past two games — but he’s also had trouble maintaining his status as one of the league’s top snipers. Because there are question marks surrounding his level of play, the Blue Jackets are potentially shopping him before the deadline.

Related: Insider Confirms Maple Leafs’ Interest in Josh Manson from Ducks

If Columbus is thinking about trading Laine, it makes sense to move him while he’s on fire. He scored twice against Montreal on Saturday, then twice against the Florida Panthers on Sunday. He’s got six points in his last three games, and 15 points in his previous 21 games. This is during a season where he’s dealt with an injury and a personal family crisis. Had he played all of the Blue Jackets games, who knows where his point totals would be at.

Rory Boylen of Sportsnet writes that the organization is contemplating a Laine deadline deal or an offseason trade. The thought seems to be to sell high and see if a team will come forward with a really good offer. All it takes is one club that believes Laine is back to his old self and would be a good long-term bet. The Blue Jackets might not be ready to make that bet yet.

Patrik Laine Blue Jackets trade
Patrik Laine Blue Jackets trade rumors

The other two options when it comes to the player are to go through arbitration and end up with a one-year extension or extend him long-term. The first option leaves Laine as an unrestricted free agency in 2023 and at the age of just 25 years old. It’s a risk, but it offers the Blue Jackets a way out. The second option locks them in long-term to the player, which is ideal if he’s back and productive. But, it would require a significant investment.

A Big Decision for the Blue Jackets

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic noted, “This is a huge decision. I think he’s a decision that hasn’t quite been made yet. But you talk about big trade chips for a rebuilding team, that’s your difficult call, what to do with this player.” Right now, the plan might be to throw it out there that Laine could be made available for the right offer. If a team comes calling and is willing to give the Blue Jackets multiple pieces, don’t be surprised if Laine is moved.

The question might be, how quickly do the Blue Jackets want to move on this? The longer Laine stays hot, the more his value potentially increases. If he cools off, GMs may wonder if he’s still got those huge inconsistent gaps in his game.

Next: Bruins Inquiring on J.T. Miller Trade With Canucks



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