Patrik Laine accepts Blue Jackets qualifying offer; can become UFA in 2023

patrik laine
Apr 15, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) and Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Patrik Laine (29) chase the puck during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Patrik Laine has accepted the Columbus Blue Jackets qualifying offer. He will earn $7.5 million as he works his way to unrestricted free agency in 2023.

Laine accepts Blue Jackets qualifying offer

The 23 year-old sniper struggled after a trade from Jets. He scored only 12 goals and 24 points in 46 games between Winnipeg (1GP, 2G-1A) and Columbus.

Laine will look to rebound and get back to the big time numbers he was putting up when he first broke into the league. As an 18 year-old rookie in 2016-17, he scored 36 goals and 64 points in 73 games. He followed that up with a 44 goal, 70 point outing in 82 games in 2017-18.

His goal scoring production slipped to 30 and 28 leading up to his trade to the Blue Jackets last season.

Patrik Laine wasn’t happy with how he was used

laine accepts qualifying offer
May 8, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Patrik Laine (29) skates against the Detroit Red Wings in the 1st period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Patrik Laine took aim at his former head coach, John Tortorella in a recent interview with Finnish news outlet Aamulehti. He told them how he was used was “stupid” and Torts didn’t allow him to be himself.

“I understand the need for a tight system, but all players are different,” Laine explained via a Columbus Dispatch translation. “I do not even want to be like everyone else. I am who I am and do things my way. Everyone should be given the opportunity to be themselves. Then, of course, you have to play within the team’s system. I think it’s stupid not to use my potential. But then it’s another matter what the coaches think.” 

Regardless, Laine knows he needs to be better. “I hope I can stay in Columbus,” Laine told Aamuleht. “I already got traded once.”

He took a step in that direction today.