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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Any trade involving Patrik Laine is going to be hard to win. He'll be the best player in the deal, but they will be selling low at this point.

There are a few directions the Jackets can go with a Patrik Laine trade. First up, the most obvious one: the "cap dump" trade.

They could simply deal Laine away to the highest bidder that offers them a combination of depth pieces. Second tier draft picks, lower half of the lineup guys. Honestly, this might not cripple the Jackets like it once could have. They could do a lot with the residual cap space; and if those bottom of the lineup guys are of decent quality, it never hurts to have depth around.

Their second option: why not swing for the fences, like they did in acquiring Laine in the first place?

Look, goal scoring is hard to find. It's easy to teach guys to play in a defensive system. It's not easy to teach guys how to fire 95mph lasers that can hit a postage stamp. Patrik Laine still has huge value, and there are teams out there who are looking to shake their rosters up.

They could go out and trade Laine for another player seeking a change of scenery, or an upgrade elsewhere in the lineup. Carolina's Martin Necas, or Anaheim's Trevor Zegras; or, maybe Ottawa wants to give up one of their two-way centers in a deal for the big sniper? This kind of hockey trade is probably the best thing we can hope for.

The last option: just take the highest draft pick and run. That's it. If someone comes along and offers you a first round pick and some spare parts, that could work in our favor as well. Even if you have to retain some of the cap hit here, picks can be highly valuable.

Nearly every team in the league is looking for more scoring, so I feel like the Jackets should have some suitors out there. Even with Patrik's $8.7m AAV cap hit and his low production this year; he's still a premier goal scorer in this league. The acquiring team just needs to help him rediscover that potential.

In the end, my hope here is that he gets somewhere that makes him happy. Patrik is a neat guy who doesn't deserve the hands he's been dealt so far. I want nothing more than to see him back on the left circle, firing missiles into the net.

Even if that's not in Columbus. It's time for both sides to move on.