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Is Laine a Fit in Seattle

June 20, 2024, 5:29 PM ET [1 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Seattle Kraken Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Hey everyone, apologies for the delay in blogs... been slightly more focused on another hockey team as of late.

Wanted to discuss today about a rumor going around about Patrik Laine and the Seattle Kraken. Unlike some rumors, this one carries some weight as it was Elliotte Friedman who was the one talking about it.

Patrik Laine burst onto the scene in a big way for the Winnipeg Jets when he was drafted #2 overall in 2016. His rookie season, a 36 goal 64 points in 73 games felt like the beginning of something spectacular. That continued after his second season with a whopping 44 goals and 70 points in 82 games. His 42 goals was second in the NHL, 5 behind Ovechkin that year. Laine looked like a player who was a lock for multiple Rocket Trophy's and perhaps more.

His next two seasons were good but not as good as his first two. In 18/19 Laine put up 30 goals and 50 points in 82 games and in a shortened 19/20 season he went 28 goals in 68 games. Strong numbers, but expectations changed from potentially being a 50 goal scorer to a strong 35+ producer.

Laine was traded at the beginning of the 20/21 season to the Blue Jackets and right from the start this never felt like a great fit. Laine put up a measly 10 goals in 45 games in his first season with Columbus. His following two years went better (26 goals in 56 and 22 in 55 respectively) but again a far cry from early success. After a 6-3-9 start in 18 games last season, Laine shut things down and entered the Player's Assistance Program, citing mental health concerns.

Laine and the Blue Jackets simply have not worked and both sides look ready to move on. Laine has two years remaining on his contract at 8.7 million, a high price for a player who hasn't been able to stay healthy or put up the numbers that the contract suggests. I also say this with nothing but respect for Laine, his admittance into the Players Assistance Program does likely lower his value for the Jackets in terms of a trade.

Now, is Laine a fit for the Kraken? If Seattle is getting Laine at his best than absolutely. Seattle needs more scoring and they need help producing on the powerplay, two things that when Laine is firing on all cylinders is absolutely his skillset. While I think Seattle needs to focus more at centre this off-season, adding a player like Laine could be a huge win for the franchise. This all of course depends on if Laine is healthy and refocused to compete in the NHL.

Right now the Kraken have roughly 23 million in cap space with very few players to sign. Beniers is the big one but I expect a bridge deal for the centre as his second season wasn't nearly as promising as his first. Kailer Yamamoto may not even be qualified and Tolvanen will get a bit of a raise but shouldn't break the bank either. That sets Seattle up nicely to be able to afford to take on Laine's full contract.

What would a trade for Laine look like? This is a hard one to gauge because of his recent struggles but I wonder if something along the lines of a Bjorkstrand reunion with the Blue Jackets makes sense for both sides. Seattle would likely need to give up a bit more than that but I question if they would need to give more than a second round pick on top. The Blue Jackets get a veteran player to help with their growing young talent, a pick, and the additional cap space which gives them flexibility for other moves.

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What say you Kraken fans, do you think that Laine is a fit for Seattle and what would you give up for him? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for reading.
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