Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen confirmed Monday that Gaudreau would skate with Patrik Laine on the team's top line. It was a rather easy decision for the head coach to make.
“I'm going to try them right away,” Larsen said Monday at Nationwide Arena. “I want to see if there's chemistry between the two. Again, it's not rocket science here.”
The concern for the Blue Jackets isn't whether the two will play well together. The organization is confident in their ability to play good hockey. Rather, the issue is with familiarity.
“I think everybody thinks that they're going to do well together, including me,” the Blue Jackets head coach said. “I think the more that I can use them together early, just to get to know each other a little bit. They've never played together.”
The next item on the docket for the Blue Jackets is who will be the first line center. Larsen has a few options at his disposal, though it seems a team veteran will get the first shot.
“I might try Boone (Jenner) there right away. I haven't decided yet, but that would be my choice right out of the gate. Veteran guy and I think he could complement them,” Larsen said.
There is a bit of time for the Blue Jackets to figure out the center situation. The team begins its preseason on September 25 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.