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Will the Blue Jackets move on from Patrik Laine? Here's why a trade this offseason could make sense.

The Columbus Blue Jackets finished another disappointing season. As injuries and underperformance derailed their playoff hopes, the focus could shift towards a significant change – moving Patrik Laine.

The talented Finnish sniper has been a source of both excitement and frustration in Columbus. Here’s a look at why he might be on the trading block come this summer:

1. Contract Situation: Laine is signed through 2025-26 at an $8.7 million cap hit. While his scoring prowess is undeniable, his hefty contract doesn’t align well with a rebuilding team or its future salary cap outlook. The Jackets could get better value by trading him now.

2. Underwhelming Production: Laine possesses a lethal one-timer, but injuries and inconsistency have plagued his time in Columbus. After his remarkable 44-goal season in Winnipeg, Blue Jacket fans expected similar production. He hasn’t met those expectations, diminishing his trade value the longer he stays.

3. The Rebuild is On: The Blue Jackets desperately need to hit the reset button. They could stockpile draft picks and prospects by moving Laine – precisely the assets needed for a successful rebuild. With Laine a prime trade chip, accelerating their rebuild might be too tempting to resist.

What Could a Trade Look Like?

It’s difficult to speculate on the potential return for Laine, especially with his goal-scoring potential still enticing. A first-round pick and a promising young player would likely be the starting point of negotiations.

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