NHL News: Patrik Laine to make Blue Jackets debut, Marco Rossi COVID situation, and questions on Leafs development of Rasmus Sandin

Finally, the long awaited debut of Patrik Laine for the Blue Jackets has arrived. The team’s new sniper is ready to take off against the Dallas Stars tonight.

“I’ve had some pretty good success against those guys, so that’s fun to have them in the same division again,” Laine said after practice. “Hopefully we can keep that hot streak going, but they have a really good team. They started off really well this year, so it’ll be a good matchup.”


NHL News: Patrik Laine set to debut in Columbus

Head coach John Tortorella spoke with the media today and admitted there was a buzz in the room. He was also asked about how long before he thinks Laine can settle in.

“As far as in the locker room, we had a meeting and I introduced him,” Torts replied. “Everybody knows him anyway, but I introduced him and welcomed him to the team, but other than that, that stuff will happen as we start playing and he becomes a teammate.”

When it comes to who Laine would likely play with, Torts said in a recent interview he’d probably start him off on a line with Max Domi.

NHL News: Marco Rossi COVID update

The Minnesota’s Wild’s highly touted prospect, Marco Rossi is recovering from COVID. Unfortunately, he tested positive according to his agent Serge Payer before training camp would begin.

Rossi will not play this season and has been instructed to rest for the next several weeks due to COVID related complications.

“We’re certainly in a good position now versus where three weeks ago there was a lot of unknowns and fears,” Payer said. “Marco is relieved and optimistic and ultimately, we’re past the point of being very disappointed. We’re actually quite encouraged. He’s healthy. He’s going to continue to be monitored and at this time, we’re going to follow what the medical professionals are communicating. He’s limited on what he can do right now, but it’s certainly looking promising for his future.”

The Athletic

We wish Marco well and hope to see him back on the ice soon.

Are the Leafs developing Rasmus Sandin properly?

Jonas Siegel of The Athletic called into question if the Leafs are doing the right thing with Rasmus Sandin’s development.

I’ve been pondering on the subject of Rasmus Sandin’s development: Have the Leafs erred in prioritizing — perhaps inadvertently — Mikko Lehtonen ahead of the 20-year-old? In other words, is it wise, in the biggest possible picture, to mix in Lehtonen, a 27-year-old on an expiring contract (he’s UFA at the end of the season) instead of Sandin, their top defensive prospect, who hasn’t played a game in nearly 11 months?

The Athletic

The question is fair, but looking at things from a not too distant future view it makes sense to have Mikko Lehtonen play and do it well. Even if he is going to be a UFA at season’s end, he could be flipped for a future asset at the deadline and keep Toronto’s pipeline filled with talent.

As for Sandin, he’s 20 years-old and will not be hampered by a few more months of Lehtonen in action.