Rory Boylen of Sportsnet reports the Columbus Blue Jackets will have a very tough decision to make on Laine. They have three choices to make.
- Do they go to arbitration with him after this season where he get’s a one-year extension, then he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
- Offer Laine a contract extension which will likely cost the Blue Jackets a salary cap hit of $9-$10 million/year and do they want to commit that amount of money to someone who has under-performed for the team.
- The third option is to trade him, which could be the likely scenario if the Blue Jackets get the assets they want in a Laine trade.
The most likely option is three. A Laine trade will happen but very doubtful at the trade deadline. It will be an offseason trade, where teams know their salary cap situation. Laine is only 23 and everyone knows he has huge potential and a player you can build around, it just will not be in Columbus.