Blue Jackets Rumors: Rumblings Of Potential Laine Trade Getting Louder

The Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves at a crossroads concerning the future of Patrik Laine, according to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch and Lyle Richardson.

While trade rumors swirl around the struggling winger, it's worth noting that Laine hasn't expressed a desire to be moved.

However, his hefty contract with an annual cap hit of $8.7 million through the 2025-26 season complicates any potential trade, especially during a season when most NHL teams grapple with limited cap space.

For the Blue Jackets to maximize interest in Laine and potentially facilitate a trade, the most viable scenario seems to be waiting for the offseason when teams traditionally have more financial flexibility.

So far this season, the 25-year-old has scored five goals and eight total points across 17 games played.

At that point, Columbus might need to retain a portion of Laine's salary to make a deal work.

Furthermore, Laine's trade value is intrinsically tied to his on-ice performance, and should he return to the scoring prowess seen earlier in his career, which saw him score 138 goals over his first 305 games, he could become a more attractive asset for potential suitors.

As the team navigates ongoing struggles and potential changes in management, the question of Laine's future remains a complex matter with multiple variables at play.

Over his four-year stint with Columbus, Laine has amassed 63 goals and 137 total points across 173 games played. Photo Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports