Patrik Laine to Montreal: his value is set and Kent Hughes has his price

David St-Jean
July 10, 2024  (8:07 PM)

Patrik Laine and Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Screenshot

Despite many efforts in the trade and free agent markets, Kent Hughes is still empty-handed and has not improved his offense.

His only acquisition that might potentially pay off is the signing of Alex Barré-Boulet, who could break into the top 6 if he finally breaks through, but that's a Hollywood scenario.
The GM hasn't had luck with the likes of Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Marchessault, and a trade to acquire Martin Necas or Trevor Zegras is becoming less and less likely.
Another forward linked to the Canadiens is Patrik Laine, but he is clearly not the GMs' preferred choice.
However, Hughes might be tempted to make the acquisition if the price is right.
On this topic, journalist Dan Rosen provided an idea of Laine's value, which could be very similar to that of Evgeny Kuznetsov.
«It is difficult to envision a scenario in which a team would take on Laine's full salary. Columbus will have to retain salary for this transaction to work. But with his age, the Blue Jackets might be able to get a second-round pick, if not a first-round pick, by trading him.»

- Dan Rosen

In short, if the Blue Jackets agree to retain 50% of Laine's salary, his value could increase to a second or even first-round pick.
However, if his full $8.7 million contract goes with him, the return would be much less favorable, with a third-round pick.
Of course, names like Justin Barron (a first-round pick) and several others are coming up in proposals for a trade.
Such would be the price demanded by the Blue Jackets, if we rely on the precedent set with the Kuznetsov trade.
Kent Hughes is one of the few GMs capable of absorbing Laine's salary on his cap, which greatly works in his favor. However, he will have to accept that a somewhat enigmatic forward would become the highest-paid player on his team.
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Patrik Laine to Montreal: his value is set and Kent Hughes has his price

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