NHL Trade Rumors: Canadiens Linked To Patrik Laine

In a surprising twist, Patrik Laine has recently been linked to the Montreal Canadiens in trade rumors, as noted by The Hockey News' Lyle Richardson and TVA Sports.

The 26-year-old Finnish forward, known for his sharpshooting abilities and natural goal-scoring talent, has had a tumultuous tenure with the Columbus Blue Jackets, marked by injuries and a recent stint in the NHL-NHLPA player assistance program for mental health reasons.

Despite these challenges, Laine’s potential acquisition could significantly bolster the Canadiens’ offensive lineup.

His undeniable scoring ability, highlighted by a 44-goal season with the Winnipeg Jets, makes him an attractive target for Montreal as they seek to enhance their scoring depth alongside emerging stars like Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Juraj Slafkovsky.

Over his four seasons with Columbus, the 26-year-old has recorded 64 goals and 74 assists for 138 total points across 174 games played.

The Canadiens have the cap space to absorb Laine's $8.7 million annual salary, and with two years remaining on his contract, the financial risk is relatively limited.

However, acquiring Laine comes with challenges. His injury history and potential struggles under Montreal’s intense media scrutiny are significant concerns.

Additionally, the Columbus Blue Jackets, now under the direction of new GM Don Waddell, are likely to demand a substantial return, potentially including a first-round pick and a promising defensive prospect.

That being said, Montreal's management isn't one to shy away from big trades and Laine could definitely boost their offensive output.

Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports