A Columbus Blue Jackets divorce from Patrik Laine is a much needed step for both sides

Reports on Wednesday night say that Patrik Laine and the Columbus Blue Jackets have agreed to a separation.
Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes
Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages
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The relationship between Patrik Laine and the Columbus Blue Jackets seems to be nearing its inevitable end. TSN's Pierre Lebrun spoke about the situation on their Insider Trading segment Wednesday night.

It's not all that surprising, really. Considering all that's happened with the Blue Jackets since acquiring Laine in January of 2021, it was only a matter of time. Let's go back in time for a minute and look at how this relationship started - and where it went wrong.

Laine was seeking a fresh start away from the Winnipeg Jets organization at that point. Pierre-Luc Dubois, coincidentally, was seeking the same thing from the Blue Jackets. The teams came together in a deal that made sense for all involved. Well, it seemed like it made sense at the time.

Brushing past what happened with Dubois in Winnipeg (it wasn't perfect either), Laine and the Blue Jackets seemed like a match made in heaven.

Laine was a cast-away with the Jets, a former #2 overall pick who had shown flashes of immense potential. Potential that was yet to be filled at that point.

The Blue Jackets, still reeling from the loss of nearly every meaningful talent from their flash in the pan run of success through the late 2010s; were elated to acquire a player with a superstar aura around him. Put simply, Laine is the kind of player that can put butts in seats - and, subsequently, bring those butts out of their seats.

What wasn't to love? At 6'5" and 215 pounds, Laine came to Columbus as one of the premier snipers in all of hockey. To that point in his career, he'd scored 139 goals in 306 games. And, he was still just 23 years old.

At the time, we felt like Patrik could be the player who turned our fortunes around. He would fill the void of the superstar winger that we came to love so much with Artemi Panarin.

The problem: Laine isn't Panarin. He doesn't drive play like that. But, he is the kind of player that can seemingly score goals at will, provided he's used correctly and has the proper support...


Now that we've touched on it, let's dig a little deeper into what went wrong with Patrik and the Blue Jackets, on the next slide.