With news that the Winnipeg Jets are seriously considering trading their star forward Patrik Laine, the possibility is becoming more and more lucid. Laine, 22 had another good season tallying 28 goals and 35 assists good for 63 points in 68 games. His career totals are nothing short of amazing for such a young player. He has 138 goals and 109 assists for 247 points in just 305 games. He was a huge factor on the power play too, scoring eight goals while assisting on as many as well.
Without a doubt having a star player of his calibre on the trade market has some general managers wondering how they could afford his $6.75 million contact through next season.
The Jets have $15.6 million in cap space but they also have 11 unrestricted free agents and four restricted free agents to consider. Just on their defence alone they have five UFA’s and one RFA. If they were to sign all of their free agents to be on defence alone that comes to $8.43 million and that’s without giving any of them a raise in salary.
Patrik Laine Trade Would be Huge
It’s not often that a true scoring talent like Laine comes along. The 6′-5″, 205 pound forward was the Jets first selection in the 2016 NHL draft. He has not disappointed. This past season he improved his overall play to add to his dynamic scoring talents. He is attempting to be a prime two-way player, adding even more value to that brought on by his goal-scoring. So, why would the Jets be interested in trading him?
Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun appearing on TSN Inside Trading had this to say: WATCH HERE.
All of a sudden Laine has moved up to #5 on the TSN Trading Board. Some rumored destinations to add Laine to their rosters include the Minnesota Wild, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens, and perhaps the Colorado Avalanche. The needs of the Jets include to supplement their devastated blue line and add a second-line centre. We all know that the Hurricanes have a rich supply of defencemen to offer. We also know that the Avalanche have plenty of excess cap space. And, the Canadiens have draft picks galore.
Wherever Laine May Go He Will Make an Instant Impression
There’s no debate about what kind of impact Patrik Laine would make on any team he may join. There is also speculation that the Jets may merely wait to move him at the trade deadline. That way they won’t need to worry about what kind of contract he may demand after his current deal expires after 2020-21 season. With the financial condition of every NHL club suffering due to the pandemic a small market like Winnipeg may have difficulty meeting his salary expectations. The Jets have a small arena with a capacity of only 15,794 and rank in the bottom six of the NHL attendance records… that is when games are allowed to be viewed in person again.
Columbus Blue Jackets Could Use Laine
Any NHL team can envision making Laine their sniper. So, the competition to gain him on their teams will be fierce to say the least. Of the teams listed above, the Blue Jackets can certainly benefit the most by adding Laine to their lineup. They only managed 2.57 goals per game which ranked them 28th in the league. Still, they managed to get to the playoffs the last four seasons based on defence and goaltending. If they can add a top notch premier scorer like Laine they would be a team to watch but what would they need to give up?
The Hurricanes are very close to becoming an elite team. Adding the skilled Laine could put them over the top. Even though they just added Sami Vatanen he could look good on the Jets’ blueline and the Carolina team may not want to sign him with his previous contract demanding $4.875 million. Another option could be Trevor van Riemsdyk who would come a lot cheaper at $2.3 milion.
Of course there have been numerous rumours of the Wild shopping Matt Dumba and he would definitely fit in well for the Jets blue line deficiencies. He’s at $6 million through the 2022-23 season and the salaries would match well for the deal to go through.
The Canadiens are rich with draft picks which is always a good bargaining tool for trades to happen. They also have a forward who yearns to be centre and hasn’t been able to do it much for the Habs. That’s right, Max Domi. They could also sweeten the pot by adding a young defenceman like Victor Mete to motivate the Jets into sending Laine their way. That would be one blockbuster trade.
They are mentioned here merely due to their cap space situation. Yet, imagine adding Laine to a team with Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Nazem Kadri, and rookie of the year Cale Makar! Now that would be an instant Stanley Cup contender, hands down.
In the End, Patrik Laine Will be in Demand
Should the Jets pull the trigger and trade the Tampere, Finland native, the facts are plain and simple. Depending on what each team must give up to obtain him, he will transform that team into an instant winner.