Here’s a weekly look at rumors around the NHL and if the New York Islanders might be interested and have the tools to make a trade.
Last week’s look around the NHL’s latest trade rumors saw a focus on the Calgary Flames and if the New York Islanders would be interested in trying to pick up any of their players on the block.
Of course, it would be incredible if the Isles could get Johnny Gaudreau, but it seems his heart is set on playing Philly. So the Isles might have to look elsewhere to land the help they might need.
This week the focus is on one of the most recent additions in Columbus, the possible shift going on in Pittsburgh, and a bottom-six player from Vancouver.
Patrik Laine | Columbus Blue Jackets
There’s no rumor that Laine wants out of Columbus. Yet. Getting benched after swearing at a coach (subscription required) only four games after joining the team doesn’t scream “I’m happy here”. The Blue Jackets hold Laine’s RFA rights, but with his deal expiring in the offseason, he could be swayed to move somewhere else via offer sheet.
The Blue Jackets will want to avoid that whole mess. Ideally, they can smooth this over and sign him long term. But the fact that Laine has been in Columbus for just over two weeks and is already having issues isn’t a good development towards re-signing the Finnish sniper.
Interest level: 5/5
The Islander would love to have someone of his talent. Any team would. Despite all the drama surrounding him this year, Laine is having a great start to the year with six points (five goals) in five games.
Laine has perhaps the best release in the game. The right-shot 6’5″ 206lbs forward has been one of the most consistent goal scorers since he entered the league in 2016-17 with a minimum of 30 goals each year*.
(*He had 28 in 68 games last year, a pace of 34 goals.)
Possibility of trade: 1/5
Considering the Blue Jackets gave up a number one center to get Laine, the return for Columbus would have to be of equal value. Something the New York Islanders just are willing to move.
Perhaps they could swing a package at the end of the year? But even then, assuming Laine continues his scoring pace through the rest of the season, where are the Islanders going to get the nearly $9 million in cap space they’ll need to sign him?