The Columbus Blue Jackets are preparing for a busy offseason but it appears their new star forward is in the team’s plans going forward.
The first order of business was find a new head coach and they found their guy in assistant Brad Larsen. Now, the team has a few big decisions on its hands, starting with two franchise players. One of themis figuring out what to do with franchise defenceman Seth Jones, who informed the team he will not be signing with them as a free agent when his contract is up, and the other is deciding whether or not Patrik Laine should be a part of the plans going forward. It looks like Jones could be gone sooner than later but Larsen doesn’t want Laine going anywhere.
Speaking on Ohio’s QFM96, the new bench boss stated his desire to surround Patrik with as much talent as they can in order to get the most out of his game. Laine is set to become an RFA after signing a two-year, $13.5 million deal back in 2019.
The 23-year-old struggled to find consistency in Columbus and actually found himself getting benched by Tortorella on numerous occasions since his arrival. There have been rumblings on Twitter that the Florida Panthers might express interest in acquiring the sniper but it appears as though he’ll be sticking around for the foreseeable future. Laine was acquired by CBJ early in the season, along with Jack Roslovic for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round pick.
A 44-goal-scorer in the 2017-18 season, there’s no denying Laine’s ability to put the biscuit in the basket. With the right players around him, there’s no reason to think he can’t do it again.