The Blue Jackets need goals.
And from the sound of things, they're casting a wide net.
GM Jarmo Kekalainen isn't shy when it comes to his offseason dealings, and his long-preferred the trade route to upgrade his roster (see: Brandon Saad, Artemi Panarin, etc.). With many NHL teams facing both financial and roster crunches in this truncated offseason, some big names may spring loose.
One player on the tip of many insiders' tongues has been Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine. TSN's Pierre Lebrun reported on Thursday's edition of "Insider Trading" that the Blue Jackets are one of the teams who has shown interest in trading for Laine, who may be used by Winnipeg to upgrade their defense.
Laine is only 22 years old and will be a restricted free agent (RFA) next offseason, but he's a legitimate offensive weapon. Selected No. 2 overall in 2016 – one spot ahead of Pierre-Luc Dubois – Laine has been a goal scorer since the moment he took NHL ice.
The 6-foot-5, 205 lb. Finnish power forward just completed his fourth NHL season. He's scored 36, 44, 30 and 28 goals in those four campaigns and has one of the best releases in the game.
Would the Blue Jackets be willing to part with one of their top-four defensemen? Obviously, Seth Jones and Zach Werenski are non-starters, but what about David Savard? He's under contract through 2020-21 at a reasonable $4.25 million against the cap. It would likely be a larger package than just Savard, but there's a strong argument to make that his value may never be higher.
And in a league where offense is hard to come by, you have to give to get.