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Patrik Laine enters NHL assistance program

Addiction, in all its forms, is not to be taken lightly. It really isn’t.

A number of NHL players have turned to the NHL’s assistance program for help with personal problems, which may include substance dependence.

Now, Columbus Blue Jackets star forward Patrik Laine is the latest player to enter the program, according to an official NHL release.

We don’t know the precise reason why the Finn decided to use the assistance program, but it must have affected his day-to-day life.

We do know that he’s a big fan of online video games, including Fortnite, and that could be a reason for his admission to the program.

However, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, as the reason could be something completely different, such as severe depression, alcohol dependence or something else.

Last November, Quebec’s Samuel Girard entered the program.

He returned at the very end of 2023, and was even able to play at the Bell Centre in January.

Valeri Nichushkin is the last player, apart from Laine, to enter the program, and this is not his first visit.

And let’s not forget former Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling, who entered the program but didn’t enjoy it at all.

Seeing all the players in and out of this program lately, you’d think Darling’s case was different, or that there are details we don’t know. It seems to work for the vast majority of players.

Over the past two seasons, Laine has accustomed us to a pace of one point per game, but this season it’s much more difficult.

He has just 5 goals and 8 points in 17 games, which is far below the expectations fans and experts have of him.

Let’s hope Laine comes out of this stronger and can continue to dominate as he does so well.

Get well soon, Patrik.

Extension

– We also learned this week that the Finn, along with teammate Ivan Provorov, could be available on the Jackets’ trade market. Laine’s admission to the assistance program therefore clouds the picture for his team.

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