On Saturday, they all got it.
In a blockbuster deal, the Columbus Blue Jackets sent Dubois and a third-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Laine and Roslovic, capping off a week of drama in Columbus.
Dubois had been looking for a “change of scenery” since the start, a request that was creating some fairly obvious drama between him, coach John Tortorella, and the entire team. Things reached a boiling point on Thursday night when he was benched for almost the entire game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That game almost certainly ramped up the team’s efforts to complete a trade.
“Pierre-Luc has been an important part of our team the past four seasons, but this was the right time for both parties to move in a different direction,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement.
Dubois is signed through the end of next season at a salary cap hit of $5M per year. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of that contract.
Laine’s current deal runs through the end of this season and is worth $6.75M. The Jets are retaining a portion of his salary in the trade to balance out the salary cap hits.
Roslovic had been unsigned as a restricted free agent and is getting a new two-year deal with the Blue Jackets. That contract is worth $1.9M per season.
From a purely hockey perspective there are some elements here that make sense for both teams. The Jets wanted more center depth, and get it in a Dubois trade with a heck of a two-way player. It is also probably a better return than they could have ever anticipated for Laine when trade rumors first started to surface involving him.
Laine gives the Blue Jackets a potential star on the wing and perhaps the best pure goal scorer the team has had since Rick Nash. But that pending contract situation could be very tricky.