Patrik Laine headed back to the Western Conference?

Dean Chaudhry
June 20, 2024  (3:59)

Patrik Laine celebrating a goal being scored while playing on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski - USA Today Sports

While trades are starting to come through in bunches, the Patrik Laine sweepstakes are ongoing and there is a belief that he could be headed to the west coast.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Patrik Laine were working together on finding a trade. The former 2nd overall pick from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft enjoyed early success in his young career but then stumbled upon injuries that derailed his development. Since 2021-22, Laine has only suited up for 129 out of a possible 246 games but does have 54 goals and 117 points to his name.
The Blue Jackets have also hit a tailspin and are stuck in no-man's land with several high-priced contracts as they continue to toil at the bottom of the standings. In recent years they hired Mike Babcock while also acquiring the likes of Laine, Johnny Gaudreau, Damon Severson, and Ivan Provorov to turn their fortunes around but Babcock was fired before even coaching a game, Laine is continuously mending injuries, and the latter three have done a decent job for an otherwise disastrous roster.
So, with a new general manager in place, a head coach to be named sometime this summer, and another top-4 draft pick, the Blue Jackets are way more open to the idea of a rebuild than their previous regime. Laine currently has 2 years remaining on his deal with an AAV of 8.7 million dollars while carrying a M-NTC. Will there be takers this summer for the 26-year-old winger? Well, according to Elliotte Friedman, he believes that a team to watch are the Seattle Kraken.
"I have a few people who said to me, you have to watch Seattle on this one," Friedman said this week.
The offensively starved Kraken desperately need a goal scorer in their midst and Laine would check off a lot of their boxes. However with Laine comes the injury history as well as the lucrative AAV.
Any deal involving the Finnish winger will more than likely include salary retention but at the very least both sides - Columbus and Laine - are open to the idea and are working together to get something sorted out. Even throughout the injuries, Laine still scored 48 goals and 108 points in 111 games in 2021-22 and 2022-23. He also started his career with 138 goals and 247 points in 305 games in his first 4 seasons with the Winnipeg Jets. If he can find a way to stay healthy, the sky's the limit for the sharpshooter.
The Kraken finished 4th to the bottom in the NHL in goals scored with 214 goals and a 2.61 goals per game average - only higher than Anaheim, San Jose, and Chicago. They only carried two 20-goal scorers and five players who scored more than 15 goals. A healthy Laine would do wonders for Seattle.
Source for Patrik Laine's statistics:
Patrik Laine
Source for the Seattle Kraken statistics:
2023-24 Seattle Kraken Roster and Statistics
20 JUIN   |   516 ANSWERS
Patrik Laine headed back to the Western Conference?

Will Patrik Laine ever score 50 goals in a regular season?

No, he's not as good as he once was36170 %
Only if he can play a full 82-game season10620.5 %
Yes, he'll figure it out with the right team499.5 %
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