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Jets Trade Laine & Roslovic to Blue Jackets for Dubois & Third-Round Pick

The Winnipeg Jets have traded Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third-round pick.

It took less than a few hours from the moment Pierre-Luc Dubois was benched for his GM to pull the trigger on a trade. It was rumored last night that the Winnipeg Jets were leading the pack to acquire the center and on Saturday, it became official as the Jets have traded Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third-round pick.

Related: Pierre-Luc Dubois Trade Imminent, Three Teams Listed as Frontrunners

As many as 20 teams were rumored to be in on Dubois, but from the very beginning, it was whispers for a Dubois-for-Laine deal that captured everyone’s attention. Both players were unhappy in their current situations and both were looking for a fresh start. Laine and Dubois were the Nos. 2 and 3 picks, respectively, in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Everything about this trade fit, except for the fact that what the Jets really needed was a defenseman. That said, Dubois is an incredible talent and the Jets will now have the ability to move other pieces, should they so choose.

The Jets have retained 26% of Laine’s salary for the final year of his current contract, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli. This will make the cap hit even at $4.995 million for the two players.

Obviously, the Blue Jackets will need to sign Roslovic and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that he has already agreed to a two-year contract. Colleague Chris Johnston believes Roslovic’s new deal carries a $1.9MM AAV.

Laine is a regular 40-goal scorer still in his prime. Dubois will add to the Jets’ cadre of great forwards by teaming up with Mark Scheifele. It seems a trade was inevitable after the Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella benched Dubois during Thursday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. When Jarmo was asked if this trade came about because of an unsolvable “player vs. coach” situation, he said. “No, no it’s not.”

Laine Excited About Fresh Start

One of the big concerns for the Blue Jackets was whether or not Laine would want to sign long-term. If he doesn’t this is a big gamble for Columbus that might not pay off.

Laine’s agent Andy Scott seems to have put any concern to bed on the matter. He said:

“We spoke to Patrik after he met with Jets staff. He is very excited about Columbus. He has already received texts from his new teammates and spoke to his new coach and GM. We’re making plans for him to get to Columbus asap to begin his quarantine.”

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he’s already had preliminary talks with Laine about a contract extension and establishing a long-term relationship. Aaron Portzline reports there are more serious talks to follow.

Patrick Laine Jets
Patrick Laine Jets

What Now For the Blue Jackets at Center?

Dubois’ departure leaves a sizable hole in the Blue Jackets’ lineup and they are suddenly thin at center. Roslovic will likely get a shot there and the team has Maxi Domi, but things haven’t exactly gone swimmingly with Domi since his arrival either.

Neither Mikko Koivu or Riley Nash should be seen as top-six candidates, so the team will have to find an internal solution or potentially consider another move.

Now the Teams Wait

Neither player will slot into the lineup for their respective teams as there are some injury issues to deal with and both players will have to quarantine after arriving in their respective cities. Since this is the first big trade in the NHL where players will cross the border, should it go well, there might be teams more open to the idea of making a move.

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