NHL Rumor Mill – January 5, 2021

by | Jan 5, 2021 | Rumors | 50 comments

The latest on Patrik Laine and Pierre-Luc Dubois in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe reports Patrik Laine danced around the trade talk swirling about him since September during a press conference yesterday.

That’s not something I think about. I only care about what’s going on today. I don’t worry about tomorrow,” Laine said. “Right now I’m here. I’m excited to play. I’m in good shape. I’m going to be a new player this year. And (I) just want to play well. That’s going to be best for both parties. What happens in the future, that’s not even my call. I’m going to work hard every night and that’s all I can do.”

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine (NHL Images).

Laine also brought up the old saying about how even Wayne Gretzky got traded, going on to say trades are part of the business. He said he’s not worried about the speculation and is focusing on doing his job.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS/WINNIPEG SUN: Mike McIntyre and Paul Friesen believe Laine wants to be traded based on his comments yesterday. McIntyre points out it was the winger’s agents who publicly suggested trading their client would be mutually beneficial. Friesen feels there’s no other way to interpret Laine’s comments, adding the winger has gone from fan-favorite to pariah.

Both pundits pointed out Laine’s unhappiness over his role with the Jets. He prefers playing on the first line but has been relegated to second-line duty. McIntyre also noted that Laine and team captain Blake Wheeler don’t often see eye-to-eye, with Laine a laid-back, easy-going person while Wheeler is more intense.

Laine could be in Winnipeg for a while. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer and is three years away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Friesen feels this is about business, unlike Evander Kane’s trade request three years ago which appeared to be more about Winnipeg itself.

SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell wonders if the relationship between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pierre-Luc Dubois can be mended following reports the young center sought a trade despite signing a two-year contract with the Jackets last week.

Campbell considers this a frustrating situation since no one can figure out why Dubois feels he needs a change of scenery. “Is it the GM? Is it the coach? Is it the market?” He points out the youngster bought a condo in Columbus last August so he apparently wasn’t looking to leave back then. However, something changed after entering into contract negotiations with GM Jarmo Kekalainen, who insisted those discussions weren’t acrimonious.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun weighed in on the Laine and Dubois situations. He believes Laine could be in the $9 million range in an arbitration case if he has a huge goal-scoring season. The Jets would prefer to deal with his situation before then.

LeBrun cites sources saying Philadelphia, Carolina and Columbus had spoken with the Jets about Laine but nothing came of it. “At least not yet.” He feels Cheveldayoff would’ve moved the winger if he’d found a good deal.

An obvious solution would appear to be swapping Laine for Dubois. However, the sticking point would be whether either player would be interested in long-term commitments with their new teams.

The Jackets have more time to work something out with Dubois given his recent new contract. The flat salary cap for next season would also be a factor, especially in Laine’s case where he’ll be due a substantial raise.

LeBrun feels both clubs could wait until the summer to sort out these situations. However, he doesn’t rule out one or both considering a move at the April 12 trade deadline if they’re out of playoff contention by then.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hunker down, folks, you’re going to be hearing a lot of media chatter this season over Laine and Dubois in the rumor mill. And for good reason. Both are talented young players who’ve yet to reach their playing prime. Every team in the league would love to have them on their rosters. Only a handful, however, will have the roster need, the tradeable assets and the cap space to acquire them.

We can’t rule out an in-season trade of Laine and/or Dubois but it seems unlikely. They’re invaluable right now to their respective clubs’ playoff hopes this year. Their salaries and the high number of clubs with limited cap room likely means it’ll take a dollar-for-dollar swap to make it happen. That could prove tricky to do even at the trade deadline.

Offseason moves seem more likely at this point. That’s when more clubs are willing to deal and usually have more cap space to work with. The flat cap for next season will remain an issue but there could be a few more teams with cap space and the willingness to make it happen.


  1. So Dubois bought a condo in Columbus??? Big deal … don’t you have to live somewhere? I still say that Max Domi is playing out of position, he’s a winger … and unless Foudy blossoms into a playmaker a trade of Dubois for Laine doesn’t make sense for Columbus … the problem there is the head coach. He’s a bully and a jerk. Kind of like me 🙂

    • Except Domi’s best season came as a centre. Needs to get his FO% up, but that comes with time spent taking faceoffs.

  2. I Wonder if Thornton brought along the birds nest in his beard from SanJose . Leafs have a shot at the semis this year and that is where it will end. Robertson should have played WJC and I think will regret it

    I think Laine doesn’t like -34 in the Peg

    • You know Laine is from Finland, right?

  3. You can understand PLD and Barzal thought process when they see the Marner deal and even Nylander’s. Also their offensive output would be higher in a different system ie. Marner’s

  4. So PLD and Laine are equals for a trade yet PLD signs for 5M and Laine looking at 9M in arb.

    These players are in different stratospheres. A 2C and the 3rd best goal scorer in the world. Come on people.

    • Laine needs to score this season to earn that 9 million. He hasn’t yet even stepped on the ice yet. I’ve been touting this for some time. He is still very much a one dimensional perimeter type player I would not put 9 million on even if he reached the 40 goal mark this season. Which I doubt. Laine to me is much closer to a guy like Hoffman than a guy like Ovechkin. But hey that is me.

      • I agree with you Jeff. I have no skin in either Columbus or Winnipeg, but if I could add either Laine or PLD, give me the latter any day.

      • If we are going to compare these two .
        PLD signed for 5 million , in the heart of the pandemic , flat cap and no answer as to when that might change , no arb rights .
        Laine signed for 6.75 , pre pandemic , with a soaring projected cap , with expansion and tv deals looming.
        The 9 million projected by Lebrun is off the back of a huge season he says and laine would have arb rights . Crucial details when trying to compare the two with regards to contracts .
        Fanboy above is also of the opinion that goal scorers are twice as valuable as point getters . Career high 26 goal Mitch Marner is only overpaid by a touch though , also signed pre pandemic , and with no rights .

  5. I believe every team would be interested in Laine. Who can afford that $9 million hit is a different story. But there are teams that can, Ott, Det, NJ come to mind. But if its the marketplace that bothers him none of those teams are going to help. Laine is hurting his trade value to the Jets because who is going to overpay knowing he wants out. It will still cost a pretty penny. Should be very interesting how this played out. Cannot wait.

    • Though I am against it. Ottawa does have Sanderson or Brannstrom to send to Winnipeg along with their 1rst rounder for Laine.

      • The conversation starts with Chabot and an unprotected 1st or Chevy hangs up and blocks number

      • Don’t disagree that WPG would want Chabot. But I don’t make a Chabot for Laine trade straight-up if I am Ottawa; let alone add in a first.

    • Would have to look at teams cap for next season. Many more teams could have the space to trade for Laine, especially if you’re sending a salaried player back the other way.

  6. Believe it or not, Blake Wheeler is part of the problem in Winnipeg. In Wheelers own words a couple season back he admitted that he had to find a different way to talk to the young players on the team.

    It was noted that the fun left the room, Wheeler is a very intense player and puts it all on the ice every shift and is quick to get in the face of his teammates.

    As Wheeler noted today players don’t respond the same way and he needs to find a better way to communicate. If he has I don’t know.

    Laine is a fun loving personality who probably doesn’t take Wheeler aggression very well, plus Laine correctly believe he is a 1st line player.

    I wonder if Laine google Columbus to see what city life is like.

  7. Laine and pld are different types of players but their value is about commiserate. But I wouldn’t do the deal from Columbus position whereas jets should do the deal. Columbus and jets are fairly strong on wings. Both could use center depth… Columbus even more than jets. So trading a center for a wing and ant in their best interest unless a second deal was in place.

    • Chrisms, yep.

    • Yes, very different. There are 35+ 2Cs (some playing in 1C slot) and a handful (most scarce commodity) of truly elite scorers : Ovi, Matthews, Laine, maybe Pastrnak and Draisaitl. That’s it. NEVER trade that commodity as you will lose trade and never replace it except through top of draft if you win lottery when a generational talent comes up. PLD can be replaced. Laine can’t. End of.

      • While I truly enjoy your long game trolling (good work btw) until such time that that comes to an end you have lost the privilege of debating legitimate hockey subjects with me. Because there is no longer any way to determine when you are serious and when you are not.

      • Yep .. no way you can possibly trade a 27 year old WG

      • Interesting that you call Laine 28/35 elite yet you leave Zibanejad 41/35, Aho 38/28, Eichel 36/42, McDavid 34/63 not to mention a whole bunch of others who outscored Laine off your list of elite scorers. Laine is a great player but he is not a generational talent. That title goes, correctly to a Gretzky, Messier, Orr or Crosby like player to name a few. Not every great player is a generational talent.

    • Chrisms, Laine and PLB aren’t just different types of players but different values.

      Laine is one of the top snipers in the league, an argument can be made for 1,2 or 3 who come around every ten years.

      PLB is very good but hard pressed to be among the top ten centres today or even projected.

      • But PLD can drive play and plays 200 feet. Great to be able to finish, but Laine’s value is dependent on having someone who can create opportunities for him. Also, centres continue to be valued over wingers. Would I rather have a 40 goal scorer than PLD? All other things equal…absolutely.

        BUT – Laine wants out ‘because he is on the second line’; which means he’s a bit of a self-absorbed diva more concerned with his ego than his team. Peg’s top line has great chemistry, but he couldn’t give a s*** because he wants to be on the top unit.

        Also, PLD @ $5M > Laine @ $9M

      • I disagree. Pure firepower on the wing is valuable but a true number 1 center has as much or more. Pld ain’t there yet but has improved year to year and his ceiling absolutely could be a top tier center. Pedigree is essentially the same for both. Laine couldn’t force his way to top line up n peg while pld forced Columbus to make him their top center. Was that bad coaching in peg? Lack of depth in bus? Maybe. But these players are absolutely essentially equivalent in value.

    • Chrism i agree and adding Roslovic doesn’t move the needle as far as a top 2 C.

      • Nope. Certainly don’t.

      • I’d like to comment but Chrisms isn’t speaking to me. 🙁

  8. Go Canada!!!

  9. Pastrnak currently is number one in my books (heavily considering his compensation).

    Elias Pettersson is knocking on the door .

    • Money has nothing to do with who is the best scorer. I am obviously s big AM34 fan and am not an Ovi fan at all especially after he cheap shot komorov in back of head and concussed him,……..but absolutely no one in their right mind can dispute Ovi is the best goal scorer . He is the best of all time for goodness sakes.

      • Mike Bossy is the greatest goal scorer of all time.

      • He may have been Ron,until Ovi came along.

      • I thought Gretzky had the most goals both career and single season? And it still isn’t all that close. Ovi can catch him if he keeps playing and producing for a few years, but neither of those is a given.
        Until he does, he isn’t.
        If all you are measuring is goals, doesn’t the guy with the most win?

      • No, correct it for the era and Ovi is ahead comfortably. The 80s was a shooting gallery with no defense. I would likely put 99 a smidgen ahead of Bossy but I can see the Bossy votes.

  10. These kids need better agents. Their agents have no leverage, since their clients are RFAs, so all they have is leaking trade demands, which ultimately take seasons to sort out. Both teams should extract max RFA years out of these guys and then trade them if they’re unwilling to sign long term deals. The teams have all the power, all the player can do is refuse to sign and enjoy, like Roslovic, playing NHL21 in their parent’s basement rather than gaining experience and skill playing real hockey.

    • ” all the player can do is refuse to sign and enjoy, like Roslovic, playing NHL21 in their parent’s basement rather than gaining experience and skill playing real hockey.”

      And get a reputation of being a troublemaker.

    • And the team can lose more games due to lack of talent, lose revenue, lose fan interest, lose championships possibly.

      They could gain a rep as a player unfriendly player location and thus also lose ability to not have to overpay for free agents and lose their rfas as they refuse to sign long term

      Leverage is more balanced than you think.

      • This isn’t basketball. Roslovic sitting won’t do much to affect the Jets records. Sure guys like Maine and PDL make a big difference, but it’s still a team sport. Pens record when Crosby has been injured has always been decent, doesn’t mean he doesn’t add a tonne to that team…

  11. Seems to me that the Sens make the most sense to put together a package for PLD. He fits with the age of their rebuild. Sanderson and a center should be enough. If that center is Anisimov then more would need to be added. so Who would the center going back to the jackets be?

    • Only stutzle fits the bill and sens won’t do that. Columbus is good on wing depth d depth and goalie depth. Pld only should go for another center who is a top 6 guy with top line potential. Only player close to that is stutzle.

      • Sens no need to rush the next step by adding Laine unless its a no brainer.

        I still see him in Philly by seasons end

      • The Sens have Norris, Brown or white that could be used in some way or another with Sanderson and maybe other pieces to put together a package for PLD. Sens have lots of currency and PLD has proven to be able to go head to head with the leafs and is better then anything Montreal has. He fits their rebuild, he can insulate Stuenzle and could be useful to line Eugenes pocket with the marketing that could come from him.

      • White Norris and brown don’t move the needle on pld. Not yet.

  12. Last chance to see a team with a Maple Leaf on its jersey win a Championship this season is tonight!!!

    Gooooo Canada Gooooo!!!

    • 🪱 🪝

  13. Three years ago, Dubois, Josh Anderson, and Atemi Panarin formed a formidable line that Blue Jackets’ fans affectionately named the PB&J line—with Panarin, of course, being the bread of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Panarin is long gone from the Jackets, but if I’m looking for a publicly known event that could make a happy Columbus home buyer in August want to jump ship in December, it’s the departure of Anderson in October, Dubois may have looked at the roster for his likely wings and seen how unpleasantly his situation had changed from the days of the PB&J line.

    Just being whimsical, if the Canadiens could trade for Dubois and reunite him with Anderson on a line with Brandon Baddock, could they call it the Badass line?

    • I’d argue that bread man was the best part… the peanut butter.

    • Brandon Baddock is quite a beast, Bergevin probably signed him to be an enforcer for the AHL Laval Rocket.

      I don’t know if Anderson is a draw for him but it sure would be interesting if it was.

      • Anderson would pound him into the ice. I watched Baddock in the Dub, and he was big, but not a great fighter. Slips on banana peels. He is a powerful young man, all the same. Anderson is a skilled fighter.

      • 2422, Deslauriers is one of the most active fighters out west and he tangled with Baddock, got his face caved in and he was never the same with the Habs.

        Anderson’s shoulder injuries came in fights, he’s too valuable to fight, and Baddock is staying in the AHL.