Pittsburgh Penguins linked to former second overall pick

Cooper Godin
June 23, 2024  (10:42)

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine.
Photo credit: Sportsnet

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets have been linked with a move that would see them swap players in need of fresh starts.

According to Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Penguins could be a potential landing spot for 2016 second overall pick Patrik Laine, who will reportedly be on the move this summer, after he exits the NHL/NHLPA Players Assistance Program.
Vensel added that apart of a potential trade between Columbus and Pittsburgh could see Reilly Smith go the other way to the Blue Jackets. Smith is in need of a fresh start as well after his first season with the Penguins after being moved by the Vegas Golden Knights last summer.
"Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins as a potential trade destination for Patrik Laine.

Vensel suggested the trade between the Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets could be centred around Reilly Smith, who he believes is in need of a fresh start, just like Laine." TheMug said on Instagram.

Laine, 26, had a very tough 2023-24 campaign which included an upper-body injury and then he entered the NHL/NHLPA Players Assistance Program just one day after it was reported he suffered a setback in his recovery. He was limited to just 18 games during the 2023-24 season where he had nine points (six goals, three assists), six penalty minutes and was a minus-ten.
Smith, 33, was traded to Pittsburgh just a couple of weeks after his Stanley Cup win with the Vegas Golden Knights, who he spent six seasons with. In his first year with the Penguins, Smith had 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists), 18 penalty minutes and was a plus-three. He has one year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $5 million, which Columbus could definitely add in full, especially if Pittsburgh takes on all of Laine's contract. Laine has two years left on his deal with a cap hit of $8.7 million.
It's unclear when, but Don Waddell shared this week that Patrik Laine may exit the NHL/NHLPA Players Assistance Program in a matter of days and once he's out, it won't be long before the Blue Jackets find a new home for the Tampere, Finland native for the 2024-25 season.
23 JUIN   |   166 ANSWERS
Pittsburgh Penguins linked to former second overall pick

Should the Penguins trade for Patrik Laine?

Yes7947.6 %
No8752.4 %
Latest 10 stories