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Patrik Laine: time is running out for a trade
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At the end of January 2024, former second overall pick in the 2016 draft, Patrik Laine, entered the NHL Assistance Program of his own free will.

Since then, Laine has asked to be traded by the Columbus Blue Jackets, but there hasn’t been much development on that front.

However, we do know that the list of teams interested in his services is shrinking, as the Jackets have been saying repeatedly for several weeks that Laine should soon be out of the assistance program.

That’s what we learn from Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.

Of course, before a player can be released from the NHL Assistance Program, the program’s doctors must ensure that the player is ready to return to the NHL.

But the fact that this is taking longer than expected suggests that there may be complications in his case, and that he may not be close to a return to action.

Technically, Laine could be traded, even if he’s still in the assistance program.

However, if this is the case, the few teams still interested in his services will absolutely want to talk to Laine before completing a trade for his acquisition.

The Seattle Kraken, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Montreal Canadiens were three of the teams most closely linked with the Finn.

To obtain his services, as well as his hefty contract of $8.7 million per year for two more seasons, the price shouldn’t be too high, despite the fact that he remains a talented pure maverick.

Laziness and now mental health problems are lowering its value.

It makes sense to tie Laine to the Habs, as the Tricolore is looking for a top-6 forward to support the offense.

Adding Laine, for what it would cost, would take a lot of pressure off Cole Caufield to score goals, who seems to be the club’s only maverick at the moment.

A “problem for problem” trade could make sense with the Carolina Hurricanes, offering Jesperi Kotkaniemi among others.

Both players could very well benefit from a change of address, and the $11 million under the Canes ‘ payroll would help facilitate a trade between the two clubs.

The situation with Martin Necas in Carolina may also be of interest to the Jackets.

Offering Laine along with other “assets” to acquire Necas’ negotiating rights would make sense on both sides, according to Portzline.

I really wonder what the return would be right now for a Laine at $8.7 million a season.

Overtime

– I can’t wait to see this.

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