Considering the pros and cons of the Canucks trading for Patrik Laine

With Patrik Laine requesting a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets, we take a look at the case for and against the Vancouver Canucks making a move for him.
Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks
Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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The case against Laine

Following a spectacular first three seasons in the NHL, the reality is that Laine has struggled to remain healthy. In turn, this has understandably compromised his consistency and effectiveness.

There's no denying the talent is still there, as evidenced by the 2017 NHL All-Star essentially producing at a point-per-game rate during his previous two campaigns in Columbus. Regardless, the fact remains that he needs to prove he is capable of staying healthy.

Laine also dealt with a shoulder injury issue this season, but this wasn't the main reason he only played in 18 games. This was down to seeking help from the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program back in January, which he remains in at the time of writing.

When the decision was announced officially, Laine took to social media to explain the reasoning behind him stepping away. As per NHL.com, he said: "After careful consideration and discussions with my support network and the team, I have recognised the importance of prioritising my mental health and well-being. Hockey has been my passion and my life, but I have come to realise that in order to perform at my best, I need to take this time to focus on myself."

Now it should be stressed that, as per LeBrun, the former Winnipeg Jet is expected to be ready for the begining of next season. However, fair or not, you have to wonder how much any of this will factor into the level of demand there is for him.

Also, while we wouldn't go as far as labelling it a liability per se, Laine isn't exactly renowned for his defensive game. This is something which the Canucks pride themselves on as a team, especially as they made significant strides in this area during the 2023-24 campaign.

One final thing the Canucks and their fans may want to consider -- as minor as this is in the grand scheme of things -- is that the snipper took a shot at the team while he was still in Winnipeg. Following a disastrous campaign which saw Vancouver finish with the fifth-worst record in the NHL, Bo Horvat announced a decision to ban playing video games on the road for the 2018-19 season.

As per Canucks Army at the time, Laine made a disparaging remark about the Canucks needing something to blame after their 73-point season. Aside from the irony that he enjoyed playing video games himself, it was an unnecessary comment and one which has since come back to bite him, given how his own career has progressed in recent years.