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 Blue Jackets shocked the world by picking up Johnny Gaudreau in free agency. He seemed like just the guy to help Laine reach higher potential.

Gaudreau isn't the kind of guy to go in and retrieve pucks (we talked about that just yesterday). But, he's one of the game's most elite playmakers. Surely, he would help get more out of a shooter like Laine, right? Well...

The Jackets felt so confident about this combination, that they dealt away beloved fan favorite Oliver Bjorkstrand, for pennies on the dollar to free up cap space. It seemed to make sense at the time. Laine and Gaudreau were going to be our own version of Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya. At least, that's how it seemed.

It just never worked. For whatever reason, Gaudreau and Laine could not develop any chemistry. Not at even strength. Not with the extra man.

Worse, Gaudreau's arrival changed the competition window for this franchise. Gone was the long-term "reload" (rebuild). In was our GM saying we needed to push harder and compete for a playoff spot soon.

This new set of expectations caused them to yearn for even more out of their big sniper. Laine was force-fed minutes at center, which showed promise at first; but never truly worked. Then, they continued to try to force him into that role for far too long, ultimately leading to a healthy scratch.

Looking back upon this all, that healthy scratch may have been the turning point for this player and this team. Repeated injuries sure didn't help either. In the end, the relationship between team and player has soured to the point that both sides have agreed to move on.

When it's all said and done, after signing Gaudreau and through two full seasons, the Jackets got just 83 games out of big #29 - with only 28 goals, 33 assists, and a -22 rating.

We see the writing on the wall here. I'm not bragging when I say this, but it seemed like this was the case months ago. It's just public now. So, let's take a look at Patrik's value, and what the Blue Jackets might do to appease him.