The Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they will be without the services of Patrik Laine for six weeks due to a fractured clavicle. Laine has also been put on IR. The team made the announcement on December 15, 2023 following the Blue Jackets matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs the night before.

Patrik Laine Out for Six Weeks

The Blue Jackets took on the Maple Leafs in Toronto in what turned out to be a wild 6-5 OT victory for Columbus. Even though Columbus gave up a five-goal lead in the third period, they pulled out the victory in OT. However, even though they didn’t lose the game, they lost one of their top goal-scoring forwards in Patrik Laine. Laine got tied up with Maple Leafs defenceman William Lagesson when Lagesson appeared to pull him down. Leaving the ice holding his shoulder, Laine was out for the rest of the game.

Having scored a goal in that game already, it’s no secret what type of player Laine is. Drafted second overall by the Winnipeg Jets, he found his way to Columbus in a trade involving Pierre-Luc Dubois. Laine is a sniper through and through. Over his career, he has 204 goals in 403 games played with 184 assists. He is a shoot-first player and has always been counted on for offence. Unfortunately, Laine has suffered some injury trouble throughout his career and has yet to really mesh for an entire season with a team. His best offensive seasons came in the first three of his career. He broke 30 goals twice and 40 once. This season, he has six goals in 18 games.

What This Means

The injury trouble keeps piling up for Columbus as they lose another key piece of their team. Laine joins Captain Boone Jenner, Damon Severson, Adam Boqvist and Jack Roslovic on the list of players dealing with injuries. The Blue Jackets sit at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division this year with 25 points in 31 games. While there is still time left, the Blue Jackets are appearing to be on the outside of a playoff picture again this season. Losing Laine will not make it easier for the Blue Jackets to climb out of that hole. But for a team in the midst of a rebuild, this might provide an opportunity for younger players to get NHL experience.

There have been some rumblings that Laine might become a trade piece for teams looking for scoring. While that is yet to be seen, this injury would make it trickier for the Blue Jackets. Six weeks is not terrible all things considered but Laine will want to make sure he is healed and ready to go before returning. Hopefully, Laine can get back to his game and stay healthy after his return to the ice.

Main Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

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