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Blue Jackets and Jets swap disgruntled Players in Blockbuster Trade.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets made a blockbuster trade early Saturday morning. The trade included disgruntled players. The Blue Jackets ejected center Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round pick for a 30-goal scoring winger in Patrik Laine and wing/center Jack Roslovic from the Winnipeg Jets.

To keep the Blue Jackets salary cap compliant the Jets will retain 26 percent ($1.75 million) of Laine’s remaining contract for this year.

Previously each Player had requested a trade from their respective former teams.

Laine requested a trade during the 2019 off-season after his contract talks became less than optimal. This past off-season both Dubois and Roslovic requested trades during their negotiations.

During Dubois’s contract negotiation he requested a trade after signing a two-year $10 million contract. Dubois was under the assumption that Blue Jackets management was going to be quick with his trade request but that was not the case.  News of his request leaked just before the season began.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen wanted to find the best value for his team’s top center.

Roslovic’s was so disgruntled with Jets management he decided to hold out, instead of agreeing to any deal with the Jets.

Shortly after being traded Roslovic signed a two-year contract with the Blue Jackets for an AAV of $1.9 million. Roslovic is having a homecoming. He was born in Columbus and played for the Ohio Blue Jackets organization growing up.

Ironically both Laine and Dubois were drafted second and third overall, in the 2016 NHL draft. Laine was projected and drafted second overall by the Jets.

There was a lot of speculation that the Montreal Canadiens had Dubois high on their Board.  They were prepared to trade picks with the Edmonton Oilers who were picking fourth overall.

The Blue Jackets surprised a lot of teams and the hockey community in selecting Dubois. He had just started playing in the center position with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL.

Laine primarily a winger has been a perennial 30 goal scorer for the Jets with his best year coming during the 2017-2018 season with 70 points (44 goals and 26 assists).

Shortly after the Jet’s elimination from the 2019 playoffs, it became obvious that the team and Laine were heading for heated contract negotiations. Laine did sign a two-year $13.5 million contract with an AAV of $6.75 million.

Dubois who started on the wing when called up by the Blue Jackets has developed into a 50-point player. The Blue Jackets developed Dubois into arguably the team’s best center.

Dubois’s best year with the Blue Jackets was the 2018-2019 season where he scored 62 points (27 goals and 34 assists). The relationship between Dubois and Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella got very public in the 2020 playoffs when the coach called out his star center in Game 2 of the series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dubois answered in Game 3 with a hat trick that propelled the Blue Jackets to a comeback victory against the Maple Leafs. This led to relations between Dubois and the Blue Jackets to sour. The proceeding off-season contract negotiations were tense.

Roslovic originally drafted 25th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft saw his ice time diminish in the past couple of seasons. A strong offense created a logjam in Winnipeg.

Roslovic’s best season was this past season 2019-2020 where he scored 29 points (12 goals and 17 assists).

Roslovic did not like his diminished role with the Jets and with it being a contract year decided to request a trade instead of negotiating a contract extension. Roslovic should be excited playing for his childhood team in Columbus.

What about the two major players in this deal though? It seems both Dubois and Laine want to be bigger players on big market teams. So, does this trade satisfy either player going forward? I mean both players got traded to small-market teams during a pandemic that required the NHL to create a long-term flat salary cap.

Will the either player get the value they are seeking on their new respective teams? More questions than answers with this trade. Both players are getting a change in scenery.  Short term gains may be outweighed in the long term.

So, who won the trade? Hard to tell, but I believe the Blue Jackets may come out ahead in the short term. They are a playoff-contending team this year. Laine when he returns from IR should provide scoring that the Blue Jackets desperately need.

Dubois is the better overall player. He has a better potential than Laine. Laine is mainly considered a sniper while Dubois is considered as an animal on the ice and an unstoppable force when he plays up to his potential.


What do you all think?

Which team won this trade?

Will either player remain on respective new teams past the current contract?

Have a great day eh! &  Fuhgeddaboudit

Till next time

Devin Muraski