Rookie head coach Pascal Vincent may be looking to send a message to one of his top stars, but whether or not that message will be well received remains to be seen.
On Sunday, the Blue Jackets own Jeff Svoboda revealed that forward Patrik Laine would be a health scratch for Sunday evening's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Thus far it isn't clear what the motive behind Vincent's decision is, but it certainly wouldn't be a surprise if it was related to Laine's underwhelming performance since returning from a concussion.
Laine, who is in the second year of a 4 year deal that carries an average annual value and salary cap hit of $8.7 million per season, has just 2 goals and 1 assist through 9 games this season and is currently boasting a plus minus rating of -6. Laine has been quiet since returning from injury, however that could be related to the injury itself.
Another theory is that Vincent is giving Laine a personal day, either for physical or mental recovery. Earlier today Laine mourned the 2 year passing of his father with an Instagram story lamenting the loss of his best friend.
Either way, one thing is clear and that is that Laine will not be on the ice this evening.