Early Saturday morning, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded their young superstar center, Pierre Luc-Dubois, along with a draft pick (3rd round) in 2022 to the Winnipeg Jets.
Winnipeg sent to Columbus talented goal scorer Patrik Laine and young Ohio native Jack Roslovic. Roslovic signed a restricted offer, covering the next two years while Laine is under contract for this season, with Columbus retaining his rights for a few more years.
Dubois is signed for 2021 season and next season, $5 million a season, with Winnipeg also having rights for a few seasons after.
What does this trade do for Columbus and Winnipeg?
The Dubois trade ends a little bit of drama in Columbus, mostly between PL Dubois and management. Coach John Tortorella and GM Jarmo Kekalainen were informed by the Dubois camp before the season that a contract would be signed but a desire to be traded would be needed.
The trade would be the biggest trade in the NHL for the last few months, rivaling the Pageau trade at the deadline last season. The other end of the trade, Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic, resolves a little bit from Winnipeg. Laine was become unhappy with his role, becoming a little distant within the team. Roslovic had become stuck behind a little depth within the organization. Roslovic has top-6 potential, even for a young age, and some versality. In addition, Roslovic is an Ohio native player, and playing for a hometown team would mean just a little more.
As for Patrik Laine, he is moving to a team that is a little more expecting of his output but is clearly aware of his offense. Coach Tortorella does not mince words and uses “us versus them” mentality, challenges his players internally and argues with the media when he needs to. Coach Tortorella calls it how he sees it.
As for the GM Kekalainen, he has a familiar bond with Laine, both being Finnish, and was very interested in Laine in the 2016 draft, when Laine was drafted #2 overall, just in front of Columbus.
Who Wins and Who Loses this Trade?
Columbus wins this trade, at this moment. They were able to trade an asset of high value, a potential generational center, a franchise-leading player, and receive a high goal scorer and native Ohio player. In these trades, the team moving a player (Columbus) like this does not usually get equal value, usually teams see the weakness and uses the frustration to their benefit.
Fortunately, for Columbus, they found a partner that had two players that were also disillusioned a bit. Columbus receives two players that should pay dividends, both on and off the ice. Columbus can now focus on season, in a division that has clearly one elite team (Lightning) and several teams that have some flaws or doubts but could compete and contend.
Dubois heads to a team that may not fit his idea of a “big market”, but it is a Canadian market. While I believe that Dubois may have wanted to go to New York, Montreal, one of the California teams, or even Ottawa (being French Canadian), Winnipeg should provide him with a market to develop. He fits in the Winnipeg image a bit, and their coach, Paul Maurice being one of the most communitive coaches in the league, and very different than the fiery, in-your-face style of Tortorella.
One other thing- do not hold your breath on Dubois, he might be flipped again if he does not fit in Winnipeg.
Outside of this trade, the NHL loses some steam, in terms of media coverage. The Dubois trade was up front in most NHL circles and led to some great stories for what value he would garner for, what his market was. The drama between Dubois and Tortorella was good too, watching their press conferences and seeing their reactions to media questions, how Tortorella would handle ice time, situations, etc.
As soon as Dubois clears quarantine and joins Winnipeg, he should be a staple in the first line. He should be inserted in to face offs immediately, challenging the top lines. He may not increase his scoring but should assist more for his teammates.
Also, this move should booster Winnipeg win totals and points. In a good Canadian division, this trade should increase the chances for the Jets to make the playoffs.
For Columbus, as soon as Laine and Roslovic enter the lineup, look for more scoring on the power play. Columbus will have to insert someone for 1st line center, so look for Max Domi to get an opportunity. Columbus loses some defensive awareness; their goalies may see a bit of an increase in shots. Laine can also be a little streaky, scoring in bunches. Be aware of his scoring and think about riding him for the next game.
Look for more insights and notes in the weeks and months to come here at POINTSPREADS.CA!
-- Writer Patrick Day can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Follow Patrick Day on Twitter: @Pokersuit30