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JETS CAPTAIN BLAKE WHEELER SHOULDERS SOME OF THE BLAME FOR THE LAINE/JETS DEBACLE

With the Winnipeg Jets and the Columbus Blue Jackets each doing what they could to make the best out of a bad situation on Saturday, swapping Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round pick, at least one Jets player has regrets about the way the Laine situation unfolded.

Per Ottawa Senators beat reporter Bruce Garrioch, Jets captain Blake Wheeler has mixed feelings on the Laine ordeal. Wheeler is relieved that the situation has finally been resolved, but also has regrets about the way he handled his relationship with the former 2nd-overall pick from 2016.

"If I communicated better, maybe it would have made things better," said Wheeler, pondering over what he could have done differently to help create a less tenuous relationship with the 22-year-old sniper.

It's tough to fault a guy like Wheeler for not bending to the will of Laine - a young player who should have had a better mindset from the beginning. Had Laine just soldiered on and contributed what he could in the role in which he was cast, rather than trying to make demands to put himself in a favorable position for his own benefit, he may have found himself in the role he coveted anyway.

With Laine headed to Columbus and Dubois coming to Winnipeg, it's a pretty safe bet that all parties concerned are ready to turn the page and usher in a new era in their respective cities.

A Scheifele, Dubois, Stastny, Lowry grouping up the middle has to put the Jets up into the upper-echelon of center depth in the National Hockey League. Meanwhile, a group of wingers like Laine, Jenner, Bjorkstrand, Foudy, Foligno and Nyquist makes for a formidable top-nine in Columbus.



Losing Dubois definitely stings the Jackets up the middle, but by no means are they completely snakebitten with a center group that contains Alexandre Texier, Max Domi, Mikko Koivu, Jack Roslovic, Kevin Stenlund and Riley Nash. Plus, with their king's ransom of talent on the wing, as well as on the blueline, they could always look to improve up the middle in the trade market, if GM Jarmo Kekalainen is so inclined.


MIKE ARMENTI
JANUARY 23, 2021  (12H45)
QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
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