Patrik Laine could become a restricted free agent again this summer after accepting a qualifying $7.5 million offer valid for one season last year.
Journalist Aaron Portzline of the athlete reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets have discussed several opportunities with Laine, but the biggest challenge will be finding an average annual salary that both parties can agree on.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told Portzline that “compromises” would have to be made to reach an agreement.
“They have their ideas and we have ours,” Kekalainen said. “We want everything to fit together so we can build a team that can aspire to great honors.
“We believe in fair contracts but the guys have to understand that they also want a better team around them. A bit of a compromise has to be made here. »
Laine, 24, was rebounding from a slow start with the Blue Jackets last year and has 26 goals and 56 points in 56 games this season. He had 12 goals and 24 points in 46 games in 2020-2021.
Laine was a runner-up overall in the 2016 NHL Draft and scored 44 goals for the Winnipeg Jets in 2017-18, a career high but has only scored 30 goals since. He was traded with Jack Roslovic to the Blue Jackets for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round pick.
According to CapFriendly, Columbus has just over $21 million in salary caps this summer after offering Roslovic a two-year, $8 million contract extension.
Possible to keep Copp in New York?
The New York Rangers paid a heavy price to secure the services of Andrew Copp from the Winnipeg Jets at the close of business, but keeping the 27-year-old on Broadway could prove a difficult task.
Ethan Sears out New York Post writes that the Rangers, who have a $11.9 million gap, according to CapFriendly, likely won’t be able to keep Ryan Strome and Copp out of the free agent market next month.
Sears notes that Rangers general manager Chris Drury also needs to be aware of the leeway he will need next year to offer new contracts to Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and K’Andre Miller as they become restricted free agents could. He added that Copp said he prefers playing down the middle after playing on the wing with Rangers. The journalist also notes that the Ann Arbor, Michigan native could decide to join the Detroit Red Wings, who have no shortage of space under the salary cap this summer.
Acquired by the Jets in exchange for forward Morgan Barron, a first-round pick, a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick, Copp has recorded 21 goals and 53 points in 72 games with the two teams.
Copp, Winnipeg’s fourth-round pick (104th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, spent seven seasons at Winnipeg before being traded. He just completed the final year of a one-year, $3.6 million deal.
Bear can probe the market
On the cusp of becoming a restricted free agent, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ethan Bear has received clearance to open talks with other teams, reports Chip Alexander, a reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer.
In his first season with the Hurricanes last year, Bear, who was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers in the summer, had 5 goals and 9 assists in 58 games.
In 190 NHL career games, the 24-year-old has a record of 13 goals and 34 assists.
Kane and the Oilers: mutual interest
Our colleague Pierre LeBrun reports that the Edmonton Oilers and forward Evander Kane are interested in expanding their association and the file should continue to evolve in the next few players.
Kane, who could become an unrestricted free agent on July 13, has 22 goals and 39 points in 43 games with the Oilers this season. He added 13 goals and 17 points in 15 playoff games and helped the Oilers reach the Western Conference Finals.
Kane, the Atlanta Thrashers’ fourth pick of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, played in the NHL with the Thrashers/Jets, Buffalo Sabers, San Jose Sharks and Oilers.
He signed a one-year, prorated $2.1 million contract to join the Oilers in January after his seven-year contract with the Sharks was canceled by the team.