Columbus acquired Patrik Laine in a Winnipeg store in the hope the Blue Jackets can take care of it [] for the next decade (Photo by Jonathan Kozub / NHLI via Getty Images)

Until next January, the general manager of Columbus Blue Jackets can no longer sit in front of the media and explain again why he had to trade another Superstar player, regardless of how much talent he might get back

Patrik Laine, who signed for $ 675 million this season but will become a restricted free agent in the upcoming off-season, needs courting Kekalainen did not acquire the 22-year-old sniper along with Winnipeg’s Jack Roslovic for not being upset Pierre-Luc Dubois center to force your way out of the city in a few months

There is hope that the two Finns will come to an agreement and that Laine could become a superstar in Columbus for the next decade

“As I said before, we will start the long-term process and build a long-term relationship with Patrik Laine once he’s here,” Kekalainen said not long after Saturday’s trade. “And I think we’ve already started, me spent a lot of time talking to him on the phone and that was a topic I told him I wanted to build this into a long term relationship with him so we got started and it will start as soon as he is further here but the top priority is just to get him on the line-up and make him play and help us ”

Kekalainen knows Laine a little from the time players and managers dated Team Finland at the 2016 World Hockey Championship, the GM also said he had consulted former Blue Jackets player Mark Letestu, the Laine’s teammate in Winnipeg Was Laine received a glowing recommendation The Blue Jackets had to do their homework because, like Dubois in Columbus, Laine had asked from Winnipeg

The Blue Jackets probably didn’t take much persuasion of Laine’s off-ice behavior as they thought about his potential as a goalscorer. He entered the league when he was 18 and scored 36 goals, followed by In sophomore with 44 more In the last two seasons he fell to 30 goals in 2018-19 and to 28 goals in the 2019-20 season shortened by the pandemic. Nevertheless, his ability to get the puck into the net has never been questioned and there is no doubt that he’ll give the Blue Jackets a look they seldom had

Last season they finished 27th despite a strong all-round year in which they advanced beyond the preliminary round into the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Place in both goals and power play percentage

“Patrik Laine is just a pure goalscorer,” said Kekalainen ” I’ve known him since he was 16 Years old, saw him play in Finland and won the championship MVP of the World Junior when they won gold and got into the National Hockey League and did what he did and he’s still pretty young

“He’s an excellent power play player and often people think of him as a shooter who is a great shooter, but he’s also a great passerby and a great weapon for our power play that we haven’t had before”

Kekalainen noted that when Laine was picked, No. 2 overall by Winnipeg in 2016, the Blue Jackets picked No. 3, where they picked Dubois. At the time, “we would have given a lot to go from three to two,” said he

Now the Blue Jackets have given up a lot for Laine, namely for Dubois, who is still developing into a great two-way force in the middle.They are betting that their belated marriage to Laine will be more than just an affair, and they better hope they can convince him to be part of the solution in Columbus than another problem it’s difficult to build championship teams with star players who demand every year and it’s impossible to get a title without a star win

In order for the Blue Jackets to win this deal, Kekalainen must win Laine’s commitment to his new city

I write about the Bruins and the NHL, as well as the Red Sox and MLB I’ve covered the Bruins and the NHL for a number of companies since 2005, most recently for WEEIcom and

I write about the Bruins and the NHL as well as the Red Sox and MLB I’ve covered the Bruins and the NHL for a number of companies since 2005, most recently for WEEIcom and NHLcom. My Bruins coverage was also in CBS Boston, in Boston Herald, published in the New England Hockey Journal, Associated Press, and on I’ve also contributed Red Sox coverage to many outlets. I’m the author of 100 Things Bruins Should Know And Do Before They Die, You Can Me Follow @MattKalman on Twitter

Patrik Laine

World news – USA – Blue jackets only win the deal with Patrik Laine if they win his heart