Blue Jackets sign Laine to 4-year deal with $8.7M AAV

Posted: 23/07/2022 in NHL
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Another core piece has fallen into place for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets signed restricted free-agent star Patrik Laine to a four-year deal on Friday with an average annual value of $8.7 million.

“One of our priorities this summer was signing Patrik Laine to a contract extension,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “He is a special player, one of the truly elite goal scorers in the National Hockey League, and he has fit in extremely well with our group since his arrival.”

Laine had until 5 p.m. ET on Friday to accept his one-year, $7.5-million qualifying offer, but the two sides were able to agree to a long-term pact.

The Blue Jackets acquired Laine from the Winnipeg Jets in a swap that sent forward Pierre-Luc Dubois north of the border in 2021.

Laine logged 26 goals and 30 assists in 56 games during the 2021-22 season and produced at a point-per-game rate for the first time in his career. The sniper has eclipsed the 30-goal mark three times, including when he lit the lamp 44 times with the Jets in 2017-18.

The 24-year-old ranks 14th in goals and ninth in power-play tallies since entering the league in 2016-17.

Laine played out the 2021-22 campaign on a one-year pact worth $7.5 million.

A Jets second-overall pick in 2016, Laine has racked up 176 goals and 151 assists in 407 career contests.

It’s been an exciting offseason for Blue Jackets fans. Columbus also landed coveted free-agent star Johnny Gaudreau on a seven-year, $68.25-million contract.

The Blue Jackets failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season this past campaign after finishing in sixth place of the Metropolitan Division with a record of 37-38-7.

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