There has been a ton of talk regarding the future of Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine since the Jets were eliminated from contention in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, although that kind of talk is to be expected at this time of year. There's something about the relationship between Laine and the Jets however that has often left fans and pundits wondering about the long term fit between the two, and this week National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman confirmed as much during an episode of Oilers Now.
"I think the thing about Winnipeg that is going to be interesting is going to be Laine," said Friedman during the interview. "There's something going on there. I don't know if Laine is not happy, or whatever it is. I think he wants to play with [Mark] Scheifele, I'm not sure that's what Winnipeg is looking at right now, there's something there."
Friedman specifically pointed to the long term prospects between Laine and the Jets as a motivating factor behind the recent talk, indicating that he believes the Jets may have to pull the trigger sooner than they would have liked.
"I think Winnipeg realizes that it is not gonna be easy to sign him when the time comes and they might have to trade him before they want to trade him. It's possible, it's certainly out there, it's possible."
Friedman also cited the fact that the Jets had recently experienced a similar situation with defenseman Jacob Trouba and in that case they dealt Trouba to the Rangers.
"I think they realize that the closer this gets to unrestricted free agency, the more likely that they are gonna have to make a move."
Oilers now host Bob Stauffer asked Friedman if there was any chance of him being traded in a deal to the Montreal Canadiens, suggesting that forward Max Domi and some picks could come back the other way, but Friedman balked at that notion.
"If you are trading that guy the return has to be enormous... but I don't know if Max Domi and picks is going to be enough. This is a guy that is still rounding his game but has all the hallmarks of an elite goal scorer."
It sounds like if Laine does get traded, Friedman expects a king's ransom in return.