After acquiring him from Winnipeg, the Columbus Blue Jackets are not wasting any time trying to get Patrik Laine signed long-term.
The first major trade of the NHL season has arrived. On Saturday morning, the Columbus Blue Jackets sent disgruntled center Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets for winger Patrik Laine and center Jack Roslovic.
Winnipeg will retain 26 percent of Laine’s salary for this year, the final year of his contract, which makes his $4.995 million cap hit match Dubois’ ($5 million). Roslovic is getting a two-year, $3.8 million deal from the Blue Jackets.
But the headline piece in the deal for the Blue Jackets is clearly Laine, and a long-term relationship could be in order.
Blue Jackets are already trying to extend Patrik Laine
Laine is in the final year of his contract, and his name is no stranger to the trade rumor mill as the Jets faced cap concerns and he wasn’t happy with his role at one point. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, so the Blue Jackets control his rights through the 2022-23 season.
Laine is still not 23 years old (April 19), with 306 NHL games and 140 goals on his resume (38 goals per-82 games thus far in his career). Two shortened seasons in a row will knock him off the high-end pace outlined here, but Laine has a legit shot at 600-700 career goals right now.
How Laine will mesh with Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella is an obvious question. A reputation for lackluster effort in his own end, with numbers to back it up, will surely draw ire from the outspoken bench boss if it continues in Columbus.
But Laine’s pure goal-scoring ability is rare, and even more rarely available when a player is anywhere near his age. So the Blue Jackets are wasting no time getting a conversation going about a contract extension, and Laine’s side is apparently willing to engage right away too.