Report: Star forward Patrik Laine will travel with Blue Jackets

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have had just about everything go wrong this season, including two injured reserve stints by star forward Patrik Laine. The latest one, which has kept him out of the lineup since Nov. 12, might be coming to an end soon. 

Laine is expected to travel with the Blue Jackets when they head to Winnipeg to take on his former team on Friday, though it is not determined yet whether he’ll play in that game, according to team reporter Jeff Svoboda.

The 24-year-old sniper just hasn’t been able to get anything going this season, after getting injured in the opener and then again after his eighth appearance. He does have two goals and four points, but there has been no rhythm to his season so far.

Big things were expected of Laine, after a point-per-game campaign in 2021-22 and the addition of Johnny Gaudreau in free agency. The two seemed like a strong match stylistically, with the smaller Gaudreau able to create shots for his teammates with ease. While the newcomer does lead the team in points with 22, it hasn’t generated many wins.

The Blue Jackets sit dead last in the Metropolitan Division, five points behind a team that just went through a ten-game losing streak. Laine is just one of the many injured Columbus players, a list that includes Jakub Voracek, Elvis Merzlikins, Jake Bean, Justin Danforth, Nick Blankenburg, Adam Boqvist, and – perhaps most importantly – Zach Werenski.

Getting Laine back would be a huge boost, though it’s hard to imagine the Blue Jackets getting back into the race at this point.

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