June 2, 2019 | 8:46am ET
LAINE WILL EXPLORE ALL AVAILABLE OPTIONS
Patrik Laine, left wing
With contract talks between the Winnipeg Jets and star sniper Patrik Laine expected to pick up in the very near future, a complicated negotiation could result in a thorny end to the process.
Laine, 21, is set to become a restricted free agent July 1. The two sides have had an open dialogue thus far, but talks are expected to pick up steam as early as this week.
However, if contract talks fail to get off in the right direction, multiple sources close to the situation have told TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta that Laine is willing to explore all of his options and that includes the possibility of signing an offer sheet with another club or asking for a trade. Pagnotta reported the news on Saturday afternoon during “Off The Rush” on NHL Network Radio on SiriusXM.
While the threat of pursuing a contract with another team is premature, Laine does not appear to be interested in a lengthy contract battle with the Jets; and if Laine’s camp and Jets management hit a wall during negotiations, it could lead to an uncomfortable discussion.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is already quite busy working trade calls involving defenceman Jacob Trouba and trying to get forward Kyle Connor locked up to a new deal – both Trouba and Connor are pending RFAs, like Laine.
Trouba trade discussions are believed to be ongoing and are likely to heat up in the coming weeks.
Laine’s picture will become clearer once contract negotiations resume. The Jets have certainly made it a priority to get him signed and his next deal, depending on term, could see him earn around $10 million, per season.
In 82 games with the Jets this season, Laine registered 30 goals and 20 assists for 50 points and came in at a minus-24 rating.