The Columbus Blue Jackets Need to Bring Patrik Laine Back

Patrik Laine, Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Patrik Laine, Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Columbus Blue Jackets need to re-sign forward Patrik Laine.

Laine, in his second season with Columbus, recorded 26 goals and 30 assists for 56 points in total. It was the first time in his career that he recorded a point per game, and he was the Blue Jackets’ third-highest point-getter and second-highest goal scorer.

Laine was one of the top power play performers for his team a season ago, and only Boone Jenner recorded more minutes per contest from a forward position than number 29.

At only 24 years old, the 2016 second-overall pick is a player that will factor into the long-term plans of whichever team signs him this offseason. For the sake of the Blue Jackets, they need to make sure that they are that team.

The Blue Jackets need to re-sign Patrik Laine.

For all the reasons mentioned above, Laine would be a huge boost to any team. However, the Blue Jackets need him back for two specific reasons.

First, the Eastern Conference is really competitive. We know all about the top teams and how good they can be, but some of the lower -level teams are making a push to return to the playoffs.

The Montreal Canadiens will get Carey Price back this season and have acquired Evgenii Dadonov and Kirby Dach already this offseason. Similarly, the Ottawa Senators went out and added Alex DeBrincat to an already-impressive core as part of a bid to return to relevance.

The Detroit Red Wings, like the Sens, have spent several seasons assembling a new core and could be ready to make a move this season.

If the Blue Jackets lose a player like Laine while the teams around them add players, Columbus will quickly fall behind.

On the other side of things, there are plenty of veteran teams whose declines are getting closer by the year. The Washington Capitals could be without Nicklas Backstrom this year, the Pittsburgh Penguins may lose Evgeni Malkin, and the Boston Bruins have a new head coach.

At some point, these clubs that are virtually locks to make the playoffs will fall from their thrones. When that happens, the Jackets need to be ready to take advantage, but that will be difficult without Laine.

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No decision this offseason will be more impactful for the Blue Jackets than that of Patrik Laine. Columbus needs to do everything it can to keep him in Ohio.