Sawyer Ramsay ’24
It has been a different year for everyone, including the Winnipeg Jets. The team has made huge lineup changes, giving up star player Patrik Laine to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Laine has served a tremendous five seasons with the Jets, accumulating a total of 140 goals and 110 assists.
However, his legacy with the Jets could not have lasted forever. On January 23, 2021, both Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic became members of the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
It remains a mystery as to why the Jets traded Laine, but there are some clear contributing factors. Laine has a history of disagreeing with his coaches and has always thought that he was the superstar player. At the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in 2014, Laine was kicked off his team for giving his coach the middle finger because he believed that he deserved more ice time.
While playing in Winnipeg, Laine felt that he was not being put on the right line. He was always being put on the second and third line and felt that he could do better on the first line alongside Mark Scheifele. Therefore, Laine requested a trade as he wanted a better playing situation elsewhere. Once traded to the Blue Jackets, Laine’s problems quickly continued when he was benched by head coach John Tortorella during one of his first games with the team due to a disagreement.
The Jets’ new acquisition, Pierre-Luc Dubois, brings many upsides to the team. Dubois was a third-round pick in the 2016 draft while Laine was a second-round pick in the same draft. Although Laine is seemingly the more advanced player, Dubois comes with his own strengths. Laine is an amazing offensive player who can score goals efficiently; however, he is not as good defensively.
Alternatively, Dubois is strong both on offence and defence. Dubois is also a ‘plus player,’ which means that his team has more goals for than against while he is on the ice. Laine is the opposite and is on the ice for more goals scored against his team than for. This new aspect that Dubois brings may be a great advantage to the Jets’ lineup.
Dubois currently plays center in the second line alongside Stastny and Ehlers, moving Andrew Copp to the third line. Dubois only played two full games with the Jets before enduring a lower body injury at practice. Since he returned, he has scored three goals and one assist for the Jets.
Opinions are mixed regarding whether this trade was beneficial to the Jets. Some may say that Pierre-Luc Dubois brings extra strength to the second line while others believe the Jets should have kept dynamic scorers Roslovic and Laine.
Only time will tell if the front office made the right decision. For now, the question still stands.