5 Blue Jacket skaters who could be moved for more roster flexibility

The Blue Jackets are still searching for the right pieces to fill out their lineup. But before they can add, they need to subtract. Who could be on their way out?
Columbus Blue Jackets v Florida Panthers
Columbus Blue Jackets v Florida Panthers / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Patrik Laine

Through four seasons in Columbus, we have seen the evolution of Patrik Laine go from budding superstar sniper - to a prime aged player with a lot of question marks.

To be clear, I love Patty, and I do still think he can be a premier goal scorer in this league. The problem for us is, the dual superstar winger setup of this roster just hasn't worked out.

Laine's time in Columbus has been marked by injuries, illnesses, and inconsistency. He even missed the last three months of this season due to treatment from the NHLPA's Player Assistance Program.

When he's hot, he can seemingly score goals at will. We all love to see him unleash his absolute bomb of a one-timer; which, when it's working, seems like he could knock a postage stamp off of an envelope. His shooting in general is quite impressive:

But his confidence was lost at some point, probably at least in part due to the team force-feeding him minutes at center.

I would love to think that Patrik can come back to the Jackets this fall and be a 40-50 goal threat. That would be the best case scenario. With the way this roster is constructed, I just don't know if that's possible.

A move here could make sense, depending upon the return. If the Jackets can find a suitor willing to take on his $8.7M AAV and bank on his goal scoring upside, they could cash in big time.

Look no further than what the Winnipeg Jets got for the piece the Jackets originally sent them to acquire Laine. No big names came the other way, but they made their lineup deeper and harder to play against.

I don't think Patty will generate the same kind of return at this point. But, if you can get back one or two players who can help you immediately and into the future - as Winnipeg did for Dubois - that's the kind of move that can turn this team in the right direction.

One final thought: you know who has a lot of one type of player, that the Jackets could really use? The Ottawa Senators. They're loaded with big, heavy two-way players. I wonder if they might have interest in a prime-aged goal scorer, since they've gone through one ... or two ... in the last couple of seasons, as they search for the right fit.

We'll see what happens with big #29. I don't think that saga in Columbus is finished yet, and a year of evaluation may help the new GM decide. But, there are other pieces they can shuffle out here. Let's move on.