Blue Jackets re-sign Yegor Chinakhov, seek to trade Patrik Laine

The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed forward Yegor Chinakhov and acknowledged that they are navigating trade possibilities for winger Patrik Laine.

Chinakhov received a two-year, $4.2 million contract extension Friday, with the new deal running through the 2025-26 NHL season.

Laine, 26, has been in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program since Jan. 28 and has communicated to general manager Don Waddell his desire for a trade through his agent, Andy Scott.

Waddell, who has been running Columbus for less than a month, said the sides are cooperative.

"We're all playing nice in the sandbox," Waddell told NHL.com on Thursday. "And until we get to the point where decisions have to be made, maybe there's not something out there that makes sense for us, and then we have to cross that bridge. Right now, [Laine and his agent] expressed their view, and we've said that we will certainly look at all our options."

Waddell said he won't make a trade for trade's sake and wants to avoid retaining salary in the deal. Laine has a $8.7 million cap hit for each of the next two seasons.

"If the options are limited or there's no options that make any sense, then we'll have to deal with that," Waddell said.

Columbus is also seeking a new coach after firing Pascal Vincent on Monday. Waddell told NHL.com that the team has a list of candidates but has not started the interview process.

"We've got a little window here to make sure we get this right," Waddell said.

Chinakhov was limited to 53 games this season due to injuries but tallied career highs with 16 goals and 13 assists. He had three game-winning goals. Chinakhov, 23, has 56 points (27 goals, 29 assists) in 145 career games with the Blue Jackets after they drafted him in the first round in 2020.

"Yegor is an outstanding young player who has shown steady improvement over his first three seasons with the organization," Waddell said in a statement. "We believe he has a chance to be a very good player for us and are excited about his continued growth as a Blue Jacket."

Columbus acquired Laine in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 23, 2021, and he signed a four-year, $34.8 million contract on July 22, 2022.

In 174 games with the Blue Jackets, Laine has 138 points (64 goals, 74 assists) and a minus-58 rating. He was limited to 18 games and nine points this season.

Field Level Media contributed to this report.