Update: The trade is official, per the Jets release. Here are the full details, nothing changed from the report.
The Blue Jackets had been essentially benched Dubois because coach John Tortorella had issues with his play. Columbus was trying to find a trade partner and were able to find it in the Jets. Laine had also been named in trade rumors leading up to this deal. It’s a bit surprising the deal isn’t one-for-one, with Roslovic going back to the Jackets as a kicker.
Update: Frank Seravalli of TSN is reporting that the Jets are retaining 26 percent of Laine’s salary. Pierre LeBrun is also saying the Jets will get a third-round pick in 2022 from the Jackets.
Let’s break down what this means for each team. The Blue Jackets get one of the most lethal shots in the NHL. After scoring a combined 80 goals over his first two seasons, Laine’s play fell off in Year 3. He scored 30 goals in 2018-19 but was a liability elsewhere on the ice and had issues with the franchise and coach Paul Maurice. Laine was signed to a bridge deal after his entry-level contract, a two-year, $13.5 million contract. Laine had been seeking a long-term deal.
Dubois became unhappy with his role with the Jackets and was told he’d be a healthy scratch on Thursday after basically being benched by Torts. It became a very weird situation before the season but also not that surprising considering Tortorella’s abrasive way of coaching and his obnoxious personality. So the Jackets shipped off their “supposed” top-line center of the future for a equally as disgruntled wing in Laine.
Laine is dealing with an upper-body injury and is on injured reserve. So the move right now doesn’t mean much for the Jackets and his fantasy value. If anything it hurts not playing on such a stack roster as Winnipeg’s. As for Dubois, he becomes the second-line center behind Mark Scheifele that the Jets have been lacking in past seasons. Winnipeg went out and got Paul Stastny to fill that role but he’s 35 years old and on the last year of his contract. So once Stastny is out the door, PLD should slot in nicely centering Nikolaj Ehlers.