As the famous Bee Gees song, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” plays in the heads of Winnipeg Jets fans, an ugly situation is brewing. Patrick Laine and the Jets are headed for an ugly divorce.
Patrik Laine has not demanded a trade
Patrik Laine wanted it well known in the media that he has not asked to be traded. He did so because of all the rumors swirling around that he was available on the market.
“[Laine’s] agents also made clear that it’s fair to say that given that Laine knows his name has been in trade discussions, and given that his usage in the lineup the last couple of years has been a constant topic of conversation, the fact that he doesn’t get consistent first-line minutes, his agents Mike Liut and Andy Scott do confirm that it probably would be mutually beneficial to both the player and to the team he is traded.” Pierre Lebrun on a recent Insider Trading.
Can this broken heart be mended?
Last season, Laine spoke to a Finnish reporter and said, “When you’re having contract negotiations, one thing always is who you are playing with.” The young forward didn’t stop there when he boldly said, “With the merits I have, somewhere else I’d have an opportunity to play with the best players. Everybody who understands hockey knows that.”
Those comments were not lost on head coach, Paul Maurice. In a post game presser soon after he mocked Laine by answering a question on Andrew Copp. “Did he tell you he wants to play with our best players?” Ouch!
So now the question is this, can the Winnipeg Jets repair this relationship? I don’t know about you, but when a player’s agent says it would be “mutually beneficial ” for him to be traded, I’m not sure there is much that can be done.
Still the Jets can make amends this upcoming season. Let’s start with playing him on the first line. Last season, he was bumped down to the second line. Head coach Paul Maurice can also try and build more trust in a relationship with probably his purest goal scorer.
Bottom line, they need to show him that his name was only out there to entice other teams to call and explore other trades. They need to show Laine they want him here and that he’s someone they want to lead them into the future.
Then again, this is probably an inevitable break-up.