One problem has been solved. Now, on to another.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are thrilled–and rightfully so–with the acquisitions of Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic from the Winnipeg Jets.
They resolved one item of business, which was fulfilling Pierre-Luc Dubois' trade request. Now, they turn their attention to getting Laine signed. He's due to become a restricted free agent at season's end (remember: the Blue Jackets signed Roslovic to a two-year deal as part of the trade).
Pierre LeBrun was on TSN's Insider Trading segment Tuesday, shedding some light on the forthcoming contract negotiations between the Blue Jackets and their new superstar. LeBrun said that while talks haven't yet started in earnest–Kekalainen acknowledged last week that the relationship-building has begun–the length of the deal will be front and center.
"For the time being, I don't think Laine's camp are in any hurry to begin talks," LeBrun said. "They want their client to get to Columbus, adjust to his new surroundings, and worry about the contract much later down the road. Here's what it will get interesting: we know Kekalainen offered an eight-year deal to Pierre-Luc Dubois, and it stands to reason he'd be willing to do the same for Laine.
"I don't think Laine's camp would be looking at eight years. A medium-term deal would make for sense for Laine, whenever they get to that."
Medium would seem to indicate something in the 4-6 year range, which the Blue Jackets should be on board with. Laine, represented by Andy Scott and Mike Liut, is in the second year of a two-year contract worth $6.5 million average annual value (AAV). He's making $7.5 million in salary this season.
H/T to SpecmenceCBJ for the video