Blue Jackets deal unhappy Dubois to Jets for Laine, Roslovic

Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After Pierre-Luc Dubois was benched for lack of effort two days ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday traded the unhappy star center to the Winnipeg Jets for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic.

The 22-year-old Dubois, Columbus’ top-line center, made it clear when he signed a two-year contract before the season that he wanted a change of scenery. Laine, an All-Star winger in the second season of a two-year contract, also had been asking for a trade.

Dubois is a dynamic center whom the Blue Jackets hoped would be one of their building blocks. But he declined to sign a long-term deal and let it be known he wanted to play elsewhere.

Laine, a 22-year-old Finnish winger, has scored 36, 44, 30 and 28 goals in each of his four NHL seasons but has grown into a better all-around player in the process. Roslovic, a 23-year-old center who grew up in Columbus, has 26 goals and 41 assists in 180 career games.

The Blue Jackets then signed Roslovic, a restricted free agent, to a two-year, $3.8 million contract through the 2021-22 season.

The Jets will also get a third-round pick in the 2022 draft.

“Strengthening our lineup offensively has been a priority for us and the additions of Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic accomplish just that,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said.

“Patrik is a player we know very well and in a short time has become one of our league’s most proficient goal scorers. Jack is an exciting young player with great potential, and we’re thrilled to bring him home to Columbus as a Blue Jacket.”

Dubois probably hastened the trade by loafing in the first period of Thursday’s loss to Tampa Bay. Coach John Tortorella benched him for the rest of the game. Tortorella and Dubois on Friday tried to downplay their growing rift.

After leading the team in scoring with 49 points last season, Dubois had one goal and no assists in the first five games of 2021.

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