NHL News

CBJ, Jets swap disgruntled stars Dubois, Laine

The Blue Jackets and Jets have completed a blockbuster trade to swap disgruntled stars as winger Patrik Laine is headed to Columbus while center Pierre-Luc Dubois has landed in Winnipeg.

Forward Jack Roslovic, a Columbus native, is also headed to the Blue Jackets as part of the deal. Columbus is sending Winnipeg its 2022 third-round pick.

Dubois, 22, signed a two-year, $10 million contract extension ahead of training camp, though sources confirmed to ESPN that as he negotiated he also told management he wanted to be traded. Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen wasn’t in a rush to move Dubois — the No. 3 pick of the 2016 draft — preferring to wait until he could land the best return. However, the situation escalated with Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella benching Dubois after the first period on Thursday.

“He hasn’t given a reason why he wants to leave,” Tortorella told 97.1 The Fan last week. “He should get in front of it. That’s the way I think you should go about your business, and be the best team you can be.”

Laine, who was selected at No. 2 of the 2016 draft, had been a rumored trade candidate ever since his agent told TSN this offseason it would be “mutually beneficial” for both sides to get a fresh start.

“I’m here, aren’t I,” Laine told reporters ahead of the season, downplaying the request.

The 22-year-old Finnish winger had 28 goals and a career-high 35 assists over 68 games in 2019-20, and had two goals and an assist in his first game of 2020-21.

Since his debut in 2016-17, only eight players (Alex Ovechkin, Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak, Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, John Tavares and Patrick Kane) have scored more goals than Laine’s 140.

“Strengthening our lineup offensively has been a priority for us and the additions of Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic accomplish just that,” Kekalainen said in a statement. “Patrik is a player we know very well and in a short time has become one of our league’s most proficient goal scorers. Jack is an exciting young player with great potential and we’re thrilled to bring him home to Columbus as a Blue Jacket.”

Laine is currently on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. He is in the final year of a two-year bridge deal that has him earning $6.75 million annually. The Jets will retain 26% of Laine’s salary, according to the team.

The Blue Jackets announced they have reached a two-year, $3.8 million contract with Roslovic through the 2021-22 season.

According to Canada’s quarantine rules, Dubois will have to stay in isolation for 14 days and miss a minimum of seven games. Dubois has 66 goals and 93 assists for 159 points in 239 career games.

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