Jets feel best way to fill roster holes may be to trade Patrik Laine

Sometimes you have to give to get and the Winnipeg Jets appear to be balancing that fact this off-season.

Specifically, the team is weighing whether trading Patrik Laine will help the club fill other voids it has at centre and on defence.

"I don't think Patrik Laine has asked for a trade or anything like that but I think they can kind of see where this is potentially going in the future," Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported during Saturday Headlines. "I just think everybody's looking at the situation and saying 'what if our way to solve the problem is, can we use Patrik Laine to find No. 2 centre or a right-hand shot defenceman?"

Laine, 21, is one of the top goal-scorers in the NHL, scoring 138 goals in 305 career games. But the Jets are loaded at forward and if Laine was moved, Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers, Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor are all still options on offence.

With only one-year remaining on his contract at $6.25 million, plus restricted free agent rights, Laine would be a very popular player on the trade market, but would also be very expensive. But if Wayne Gretzky can be traded, anyone can, and teams will be lining up on Portage Avenue to pitch Kevin Cheveldayoff if the Jets decide to explore their options.

In his most recent mailbag, Sportsnet's Jets insider Ken Wiebe described the potential trade of Laine as a "longshot" but qualified that by saying "It would be negligent to ignore the possibility." As the NHL enters one of the most unpredictable off-seasons in recent memory, the Laine story will be one worth watching.

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