There has been much anticipation surrounding a trade out of Columbus for Pierre-Luc Dubois since he recently came out demanding a trade away from the organization. Many teams including Anaheim, Montreal, Minnesota, Winnipeg, and others were inquiring about the third overall pick. However, the news broke this morning that PLD would be headed to Winnipeg in a blockbuster trade.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) January 23, 2021
There has been long-time speculation regarding a Patrick Laine trade out of Winnipeg. The 2nd overall pick has had his ups and downs with the organization and was looking for a change of scenery. In the end, Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets found a suitor for the famed sniper in Columbus.
Ironically, all three players involved were looking for a change from their current organization. Ultimately, Dubois forced Columbus to trade him after his public demands and poor efforts to start the season in Columbus.
Winnipeg – Its clear as to why the Jets decided to make this trade. Winnipeg has long been looking for more center depth as evident by the move to bring in Stastny in the offseason. The knock on the Jets has been their lack of a 1-2 punch down the center. After #1 center Mark Scheifele went down against Calgary in the qualifying round in the NHL playoffs, the Jets severely struggled down the middle. Now with Dubois, the Jets will be unquestionably hard to play against while boasting one of the best center depths in the North division as well as the league.
Columbus – The Blue Jackets had to make a trade and there was no way around it. Dubois clearly checked out and Tortorella clearly had enough giving him only 3:55 of ice time in their last game. For the Jackets, it was a matter of finding a partner. After the Panarin and Bobrovsky era, the Jackets failed to have any true star talent(s) on their roster. Now Columbus boast one of the best pure scorers in the league. Although the dynamic between Laine and Tortorella will be interesting to follow, what Laine could bring to the table is unquestioned. The Blue Jackets also got a potential NHL center in Jack Roslovic, who seemed to never really get his chance in Winnipeg.
Verdict: Both teams were able to address organizational needs while satisfying player trade request. Winnipeg now solidifies their center position and become much harder to play against. Meanwhile, the Jackets were able to move on from Dubois and bring in legit talent. Although, the internet seems to believe the Blue Jackets won by a landslide, I don’t’ think it is as big of a win as many. Firstly, this move should push the Jets over the edge as a legit playoff team. They also have Dubois for at least two years. Meanwhile, Laine is currently on his last deal and will be an RFA after the season. He is also currently on the IR. I also believe the Laine Tortorella dynamic could potentially be problematic in Columbus. Next, as good as Laine is, it will be interesting to see who ends up feeding him given the lack of center depth in Columbus. However, Roslovic is a great addition and ultimately, Laine has the highest ceiling amongst any player in the trade. If he is able to consistently reach his ceiling with CBJ it will be a clear victory for the Jackets organization.
Lastly, CBJ arguably won this trade due to the fact they were able to get such a big haul despite the fact teams knew they had no choice but to move on from Dubois. Ultimately, it will take some time to determine the true ‘winner’ of this deal