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PATRIK LAINE'S CONTRACT SITUATION WON'T DETER BLUE JACKETS FROM PLANS AHEAD OF DRAFT WEEKEND

JUL 4, 2022  (16H00)      COOPER GODIN
After a bounce-back 2021-22 season, Columbus Blue Jackets pending RFA forward Patrik Laine will be looking for big payday, and hopefully a multi-year contract.

There hasn't been much progress on a new contract for the 24-year-old and Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen doesn't believe it will distract or deter the team from their plans during the upcoming entry draft in Montreal.

"Like with anything, it takes its course," Kekalainen said. "If they want to agree, we can do it quickly. If they don't, it can take time. I don't think it's going to affect anything we do at the draft."

He went on to add, "There's a lot of time before the season starts. "If for some reason we can't get anything more than a year, then ... well, we gotta make some decisions again."

The Blue Jackets have until Monday, July 11th to issue a qualifying offer of $7.5 million for one year to retain Laine's RFA rights. The Tampere native is also eligible for salary arbitration this year and if contract talks continue to drag on in the next couple of weeks, there's a real possibility that Laine and his camp will go down that route.

In 56 games this season, Laine put up 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists), 24 penalty minutes and was a minus-seven.

Source: theScore.
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