The fact that there will be trade rumors surrounding Winnipeg Jets star forward Patrik Laine during this upcoming offseason will come as no surprise to fans of the Winnipeg Jets. Despite his success Laine has been something of a polarizing figure during his time in Winnipeg and his name has come up in trade rumors before, but fans might be a little bit more surprised to learn that forward Nikolaj Ehlers may also be on the trading block come the offseason.
On Monday TSN National Hockey League insider Frank Seravalli revealed during a radio interview that when TSN's Trade Bait list comes out this week it will feature both of the Jets forwards on the list. We don't know how high those players will feature of Seravalli's list but the insider did indicate that the team is currently evaluating the best way to fill some holes that need filling on their roster. This of course means that Seravalli believes general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will give serious consideration to dealing either of those forwards in an effort to bolster his lineup at another position. If I had to guess given the departure of defenseman Jacob Trouba via a trade as well as the strange situation surrounding star defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, the hole that Cheveldayoff will most be looking to fill will be the one left on the blue line.
There's been no real word from Seravalli regarding where either player could potentially end up in a trade but interestingly enough David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period made comments last week regarding potential interest in Patrik Laine from general manager Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens. Pagnotta stated flatly that he was not sure the two sides would be able to work out a deal but did add that he expects Bergevin, who's team he believes is in need of a "trigger man," to reach out to the Jets to figure out what it would take to make the deal a reality.
I'll be honest here if the Jets are looking to plug holes on their blue line I simply don't see a trade with the Canadiens working out. The Habs will be among the few teams with significant cap space to use this offseason however, so perhaps there might be a way to make this work somehow.
On a final note the inclusion of Ehlers here does surprise if only because it doesn't seem to fit the way that the Jets general manager usually does business. Ehlers is a solid player on a good contract with several years of control, and no doubt his contract will look even better in a few years, unless Cheveldayoff gets a player who also has a good contract and comes with long term control for the team I don't see this as being the kind of move he would go for. I could of course be entirely of base here as this is only speculation on my part.