Blue Jackets and Jets swap Pierre-Luc Dubois and Patrik Laine in baffling blockbuster

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images /

After months of trade rumors, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Patrik Laine are finally on the move, ironically being traded for each other.

The Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets have completed a resounding blockbuster trade that will send Patrik Laine to Columbus and Pierre-Luc Dubois to Winnipeg.

The deal was first reported by Darren Dreger, and is as follows. Dubois and a 2022 third round pick to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Laine and Jack Roslovic to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jets also retain 25.9 percent of Laine’s salary, evening out Dubois and Laine’s salaries at $5 million a piece.

In addition to the trade, the Blue Jackets have also signed Jack Roslovic to a two-year contract worth $1.9 million a season.

According to Canada’s quarantine protocols, Dubois will have to stay in quarantine for 14 days and miss a minimum of seven games before he can play for Winnipeg. Laine only has a seven-day quarantine upon arrival in Columbus. Roslovic ironically lives in Columbus and never reported to Winnipeg during his contract dispute, so he is available to play now.

Laine was the second-overall pick for the Jets in the 2016 NHL Draft, while Dubois was the next pick for the Blue Jackets at third overall. Both had worked out for  their respective teams in the short term, but both have publicly unhappy and trades seemed imminent on both sides.

Laine trade rumors had persisted throughout the entire offseason after reports that both sides had grown exhausted with each other, but nothing came of the rumors and it was seemingly tabled until further notice. As for Dubois however, his trade rumors surfaced immediately after singing a new contract and confirmed reports that he had asked for a trade. This trade comes two days after Dubois was benched for some of the worst effort ever seen in an NHL game.

So, who got the best of this trade?

This a tough trade to determine a winner right off the bat. There is a lot information here to process. Truly, only time will tell who comes on top in this trade, but I will do my best to break this down.

Laine has absolute highest ceiling in this trade and has the potential to be a 50-goal scorer in this league at his best. If he finds that form again in Columbus, this trade will be an obvious win for them, especially if Roslovic works out as well. However, Laine and John Tortorella could be one of the worst player-coach relationships in the league if they don’t get along, and Laine could very well want out again by the end of the season when his contract expires. This is trade is risky for Columbus, but even if Laine wants to be traded again, they can still get a sizable package to make up the difference.

The Jets have been hunting for solid center depth seemingly forever, and now they’ve got it for a long time with Dubois. Dubois has a two-season track record of outstanding five-on-five production, and can thrive in the Jets system with their elite wingers like Nikolaj Ehlers or Kyle Connor beside him. He can be a solid bet for around 60 points in a season, but that comes nowhere near the potential of Laine. This trade is a safer bet for Winnipeg, but they could also lose out big.

My personal biggest complaint with the Jets is that they still don’t have any defense, even now after trading their two biggest trade chips. Dubois solves their center problem, but their defense has been barren for two seasons now, and if Connor Hellebuyck can’t maintain last seasons Vezina winning form, they will be out of luck regardless.

My gut reaction to this says the Blue Jackets win this trade based on the immense potential of Laine, but that will only be the case if he actually wants to stay there. If he doesn’t, then Winnipeg having immense center depth for the foreseeable future will put them on top in this deal. Again, only time will tell.

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