Patrik Laine stepping away from the NHL
Photo credit: NHL

Former 2nd overall pick stepping away from the NHL effective immediately

Published January 29, 2024 at 11:09

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced yesterday that forward Patrik Laine was taking time away from the game of hockey, as well as entering the NHL/NHLPA Assistance Program. The news came as a shock to many, but with the former 2nd overall pick struggling so much this season, it's clear that something wasn't quite right.

Since the announcement, Laine has taken to his personal Instagram account to elaborate on the reasons for his decision, addressing the fans directly, offering his explanation for leaving the game he loves behind temporarily.

"Dear fans and supporters,

I wanted to take a moment to address my need to step away from the game for a while. After careful consideration and discussions with my support network and the team, I have recognized the importance of prioritizing my mental health and well-being. Hockey has been my passion and my life, but I have come to realize that in order to perform at my best, I need to take this time to focus
on myself."

Laine also clarified that he is not stepping away from the NHL permanently, and that he fully intends to return to the NHL as soon as he's ready.

"I am grateful for the understanding and support of my team, the league, and our fans during this time. I look forward to returning to the ice with a clear mind and renewed energy. Thank you for respecting my privacy during this time and for your continued support."

With love,

Taken 2nd overall in the 2016 draft by the Winnipeg Jets, Laine would break into the league during the 2016-17 season scoring 36 goals and 64 points in 73 games. Laine would further display his reputation as goal scorer, scoring at a 30-goal pace in his next few seasons in Winnipeg. Injuries began to hamper Laine's career, which eventually led to him getting moved to the Columbus Blue Jackets in January 2021.

Laine's injury troubles have carried over to Columbus, with the Finnish sniper averaging around 50 games per season since moving to the Blue Jackets. Laine's last game was against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 14, 2023. He scored a goal in the 6-5 overtime win but was hurt in the affair, suffering a fractured clavicle.

We'd like to wish Laine all the best as he takes the time he needs to get right. Nobody is above asking for help if/when they need it and we'd like to see Laine get back to the perennial 30-40 goal scorer that he once was.
January 29   |   460 answers
Former 2nd overall pick stepping away from the NHL effective immediately

Can Patrick Laine regain his form from earlier in his career?

Yes, still young but needs to figure out injuries17938.9 %
No, injuries have made him less of a player28161.1 %
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