A relatively slow news day in hockey with pre-season games of little consequence just having begun and no major free agent signings to talk about meant that there was PLENTY of talk about Patrik Laine and his status with the Winnipeg Jets and his comments made in a Finnish newspaper.
A lot of the takes from various talking heads were reasonable , some tsk-tsk’ed the always outspoken young Laine for being too outspoken in this case, a few outright wondered if this was his way of trying to get traded out of Winnipeg. We have a ton of different reactions chronicled here.
Laine himself didn’t follow up his comments with any new interviews, but the man who did interview him for the report, Pekka Jalonen had a talk with CBC Radio’s Marcy Markusa where he explains that Laine has been frustrated with his usage, but Pekka also feels like Laine very much wants to remain in Winnipeg. Pekka also suggested that perhaps the thought that Laine was having issues with Blake Wheeler or coaches being hard on him wasn’t a big issue as Laine was his own harshest critic at times.
Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun has a nice breakdown of the current situation between player and team and as the headline properly suggests; Jets need more from Laine and Laine needs more from them.
Darren Dreger of TSN explains that there shouldn’t be any real issues with Laine wanting to play on a top line with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele but also points out that having three right handed shots on the same line would be a challenge to make work.
For what it’s worth, Jets players such as Blake Wheeler and Adam Lowry maintained that his comments were not a real issue and that they understood likely made out of frustration over his contract situation. Wheeler was also quick to point out that Laine had spent plenty of time and had success on the Jets top power play unit and that “he’s a young kid that’s certainly had a lot of success in three years. He’s definitely not doing it by himself, I can guarantee you that.”
Head Coach Paul Maurice also suggested that he wasn’t going to take Laine’s words to heart very much and understood and even liked that Laine had a desire to want more, but also suggested that it doesn’t always work that way or happen right away, adding “I’ll use my driver’s license analogy: nobody gets the keys at 14.”
Don’t want to read any of that? Good news, there is plenty of video from yesterday of various people talking about Patrik Laine.
For now, we’re just going to have to keep putting up with this whole situation as a distraction, but it would be wise if the Jets took The Athletic’s Murat Ates tweet about it to heart…
#NHLJets proverb: The best time to [sign Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor] was 20 [days] ago. The second best time is now.
Doesn't quite roll off the tongue but hey maybe I'm in pre-season form too.
— Murat Ates (@WPGMurat) September 17, 2019
Bold prediction from yours truly? Laine will sign with the Jets within the next two weeks, and within a couple of games played with the Jets be on the board with a couple of goals scored and all of this silliness will be forgotten… or at least laughed about a little more.
Boston Bruins – Re-signed D Brandon Carlo to a two-year, $5.7 million contract.
Carolina Hurricanes – Signed D Fredrik Claesson to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000.
Los Angeles Kings – Signed D Ben Hutton to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.