Assessing The Potential Market For Blue Jackets Forward Patrik Laine and Defenseman Ivan Provorov

By Coby Maeir on January 26, 2024 at 10:17 am
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35) watches a puck shot by Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine (29) during the second period at Scotiabank Arena.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, Darren Dreger appeared on TSN's Insider Trading and reported that the Blue Jackets are listening to offers on forward Patrik Laine and defenseman Ivan Provorov. The NHL's trade deadline is on March 8.

"Jarmo Kekalainen, the general manager of the Blue Jackets, is willing to listen on a couple of big-name guys like Patrik Laine and Ivan Provorov," Dreger said. "And there are others now, obviously, Adam Fantilli is untouchable and there are other young players the Blue Jackets won't want to move. A number of teams, though, are also very interested in veteran Boone Jenner, but he's a heart and soul guy with a terrific contract so it's highly unlikely that the Blue Jackets consider moving him, but again Jarmo Kekalainen and the Columbus Blue Jackets are listening."

What is the market for these two players?

Laine, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, is in the second year of a four-year, $8.7M AAV deal. He's posted 6-3--9 in 18 games this season and 64-74--138 in 174 games as a Blue Jacket. However, since 2021-22, he's missed 82 of a possible 211 games with various injuries. Laine is still just 25 years old, but it feels like his best hockey is behind them, as he hasn't scored 30 goals since 2018-19. He's the 15th highest-paid winger in the sport and hasn't performed anywhere close to that this season. Will a team require that the Jackets retain salary in a potential trade? If so, there may be a suitor out there who thinks they can get the best out of Laine. 

Provorov, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, is in the penultimate year of a contract that carries a $4.725M cap hit. He's played all 47 games this season and posted 4-19--23. He's missed just three of a possible 582 games in his career, so he's proven to be available. He's a productive offensive defenseman, but has struggled defensively since the start of the 2020-21 season. He's not going to be a team's shutdown defenseman, but if there's a team that needs a puck-moving or offensively proficient blueliner to play in their second or third pair, Provorov would make a lot of sense, especially since he's not a rental and he carries a manageable cap hit.

From the outside, it appears that Provorov will have a much bigger market than Laine. As the trade deadline approaches, it'll be interesting to see if a team meets the Blue Jackets' requirements for a trade.

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