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ANALYST EXPECTS BIG, NEW CONTRACT FOR PATRIK LAINE IN A MATTER OF DAYS.

Patrik Laine remains in Winnipeg as he awaits a flight to take him to his new team in Ohio within the next couple of days. But, that hasn't stopped his agent and the Columbus Blue Jackets from discussing a contract extension and at least one analyst believes it's coming very soon.

"I would expect a Laine 8 year extension, to come before the end of January," said Shawn Simpson of TSN 1200 Radio in Ottawa. Simpson has also served as an NHL scout and GM at the AHL level.


"We're going to try to build a long-term relationship with him," Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen told Sportsnet's Chris Johnston. Kekalainen also told Aaron Portzline of the Athletic that preliminary discussions with Laine have already taken place.



Signing Laine won't come cheap, especially for the eight-year maximum. Laine's cap hit is $6.75 million (AAV) this season, but his actual salary is $7.5 million. As he will be a restricted free agent after this season, the Blue Jackets are not allowed to offer him less than his actual salary for the final year of his previous contract. Columbus is currently right at the cap limit of $81.5 million, but will have some players becoming unrestricted free agents at the end of 2020-21. These include team captain Nick Foligno ($5.5M AAV), Riley Nash ($2.5M AAV), Mikhail Grigorenko ($1.2M AAV), David Savard ($4.25M AAV) and Mikko Koivu ($1.2M AAV).



TIM TUCKER
JANUARY 26, 2021  (10H07)
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