Sports: Frustrated Patrik Laine wants to be on top line, play with high-skilled centre - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsFrustrated Patrik Laine wants to be on top line, play with high-skilled centre

20:02  17 september  2019
20:02  17 september  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Patrik Laine to train in Switzerland amid contract negotiations, Finnish media reports

Patrik Laine to train in Switzerland amid contract negotiations, Finnish media reports Finnish media is reporting restricted free agent Patrik Laine is heading to Switzerland to train amid his contract negotiation stalemate with the Winnipeg Jets.

Laine is a skilled power forward from Finland with a lethal shot and a tremendous first step for a player his size. At this stage of the season he should be considered a top -5 pick, as he's putting up points as a 17 year old in a men's league while playing on Tappara's third line .

Patrik Laine is an elite scorer in the NHL and based off of how much he talks about playing video games and how much he chirps Nikolaj Ehlers for his video game skills , we assume he’s an elite gamer as well. Far and away the most talked about game this NHL season has been Fortnite.

Patrik Laine believes if he was on another NHL team, his linemates would be the best players available, but in Winnipeg, he's stagnating on a second line with a rotating roster, says a Finnish journalist who has followed the star's career.

"I felt he was really frustrated … especially five-on-five and with whom he's playing," said Pekka Jalonen, a sportswriter for Iltalehti, one of the largest newspapers and most popular websites in Finland.

He has followed Laine's career from junior superstar to his first few seasons in Winnipeg and recently spoke with him in Europe, where Laine is practising with Swiss club SC Bern as contract negotiations with the Jets continue.

‘It was an easy choice’: Winnipeg Jets’ Patrik Laine joins Swiss club

‘It was an easy choice’: Winnipeg Jets’ Patrik Laine joins Swiss club Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine is skating with SC Bern of the Swiss Hockey League during his contract stalemate with the NHL club.

Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine lead a deep class full of Calder Trophy hopefuls. Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho is another intriguing prospect and a Calder sleeper. The center for Laine and Puljujarvi on Team Finland at the World Junior Championship this past winter, he’s quite talented.

Laine isn't top 100 player and Jets will pay him 10+ million. Needs some consistency in his game if he wants to be considered among the top forwards. The Only positive is that Laine plays Dallas next. When he's trying to play well for a change and it doesn't work, it frustrates him and he goes cold.

Laine expressed his dissatisfaction with the line combinations and opportunities he was getting last season but didn't name anyone, Jalonen said.

He only said "somewhere other than Winnipeg he would have the chance to play with the best players," Jalonen said.

Frustrated Patrik Laine wants to be on top line, play with high-skilled centre© John Woods/The Canadian Press Winnipeg Jet Patrik Laine is practising with Swiss club SC Bern as contract negotiations with the Jets continue.

The Finnish superstar spun heads in his first season in 2016-17 by scoring 36 goals and adding 28 assists and being named one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the NHL's top rookie.

He followed that up with 44 goals in his sophomore season, the second-highest total in the league.

The 2018-19 season started phenomenally with 18 goals in 12 games in November — giving him 21 goals in the first 24 games.

Wheeler after Laine's ice-time comment: 'You want guys that are hungry'

Wheeler after Laine's ice-time comment: 'You want guys that are hungry' Wheeler after Laine's ice-time comment: 'You want guys that are hungry'

" Laine is another well-built skilled forward," Stubb said. Laine had most of the boxes ticked to be a one man band himself with enough of a caveat on his skating that we can see why he wasn't ranked higher sooner. The rightness of our world view is a thing we often want confirmed. It's comforting.

Patrik Laine , selected second overall by the Winnipeg Jets, has remained in step with Matthews Auston Matthews entered the NHL with high expectations. As the first overall pick Matthews Laine has proven to be more efficient and has converted more often than his Toronto counterpart.

Then Laine hit quicksand. He scored just nine goals the rest of the year and struggled defensively, coughing up the puck and losing battles on the boards. He ended the year with a –24 plus-minus rating.

Bad blood?

Jalonen believed Laine wants to be on a line centred by Mark Scheifele but has instead been teamed on the second line with centres Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry and Bryan Little over the years.

If he can't be on the top line, he would like a more highly skilled centreman, Jalonen said.

"I have never heard him speak like this before in public. I'm not sure if the Jets have to be concerned about this because of course, this can make some bad blood between the two sides," he said.

"But the Jets know the situation. They need a second-line centre. They have traded two first-round picks to get a second-line centre, so they know what the problem is there."

Frustrated Patrik Laine wants to be on top line, play with high-skilled centre© John Woods/The Canadian Press Patrik Laine celebrates a first-period goal against St. Louis in Game 1 of the 2018-19 NHL playoffs.

Winnipeg has brought in two high-profile centres in the past two years, both of whom only played a few months in a Jets uniform. They were essentially rental players for the playoffs.

Jets' Maurice takes jab at Laine during postgame presser

Jets' Maurice takes jab at Laine during postgame presser Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice used his trademark wit to troll restricted free-agent forward Patrik Laine following the club's 4-1 preseason victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night. Asked if forward Andrew Copp was making a good case for a bigger role with the club, Maurice mocked Laine's recent comments regarding his lack of top-line minutes. "Did he tell you he wants to play with our best players?" Maurice said of Copp, according to The Athletic's Murat Ates. In an interview with Finnish outlet Iltalehti published Monday, Laine suggested he would be a first-line player on most NHL teams.

Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine , Getty Images. Alexander Nylander of the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads is a silky-smooth, skilled player who has a quiet determination to his play and can beat you with his head Suffice to say, the top five players have the ability and potential to be top - line

On the power play , Patrik usually drifts along the left circle, looking for a lane between the PK As I alluded to earlier, Laine ’s even-strength issues may be the most frustrating part of his season. For one thing, Patrik has been made to be the neutral zone transition lead and the offensive entry

Paul Stastny was brought in at the end of the 2017-18 season, playing 19 games until the team's playoff drive ended in the Western Conference finals against Las Vegas. He then left for Vegas in the off-season.

The Jets brought in Kevin Hayes the following year. He played 20 games at the end of the season before he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers that off-season.

Asked if, overall, Laine is happy in Winnipeg, Jalonen said "I think he is. He loves the city and he knows he can be a really, really good player there. He knows he can score 50 goals when he has the right guy with him as a centre.

"He is just so hard on himself that he wants to have that opportunity to play with a good player so he can score that 50 goals, or more.

"But he is prepared to play somewhere else if the negotiations don't go his way."

'His own worst critic'

Jalonen acknowledged the hardball being played by Laine could be a tactic to put public pressure on the Jets while they are in contract negotiations.

"But usually when Patrik speaks something, when he tells something to you, he means what he says."

‘He was saying sorry’: Winnipeg Jets’ Bryan Little gets apology from Patrik Laine

  ‘He was saying sorry’: Winnipeg Jets’ Bryan Little gets apology from Patrik Laine Winnipeg Jets forward Bryan Little said teammate Patrik Laine got in touch with him to apologize for how his comments from earlier in the week were interpreted.Earlier in the week, Laine raised some eyebrows during an interview with Finnish reporter Pekka Jalonen, when the restricted free agent insinuated that he wasn't playing with the best players with the Jets.

Laine projects to be a top line offensive threat. Laine has performed at a high level on the international stage for Finland in addition to his work in Liiga. There are also rumors that Jarmo Kekalainen wants to make moves, if possible, to draft both Laine and fellow Fin, Jesse Puljujärvi.

TORONTO -- Forward Patrick Laine was good for Team Finland on Tuesday. Perhaps Laine 's best chance came in the first period when each team was still looking to establish an advantage. But if Team North America wins Wednesday, Team Finland will play for nothing more than pride on Thursday.

Frustrated Patrik Laine wants to be on top line, play with high-skilled centre© Michael Dwyer/Associated Press Patrik Laine had an outstanding start to last season but struggled through the second half.

Rumours swirled last year that part of the reason a promising Jets season came to a screeching half in the first round of the playoffs — to the eventual Stanley Cup champions St. Louis Blues — was because of discord in the dressing room between the veteran players and younger ones.

If that was true, it wouldn't have rattled Laine much, Jalonen said.

"I heard that [captain] Blake Wheeler is really hard sometimes to the whole team, especially the young players, but it's not bothering Patrik because he is his own worst critic. He is hard on himself," Jalonen said.

"He wants somebody to kick his ass to be a better player. He wants to be the best player and he is doing everything he can to be that guy.

"Of course, when the pucks don't go in, he's a little bit frustrated and hard on himself."

At the end of last season, as players met media for exit scrums at Bell MTS Place, Laine revealed he played with a back injury for much of the season. He also said a groin injury had slowed his ability in the playoffs.

Those ailments are no longer a concern, Jalonen said.

"He has been working like a horse during the summer. His back is now OK and he is very confident he can play really good hockey."

Read more

'I'll be real good this year': Jets' Patrik Laine ready to shed last season's setbacks .
Patrik Laine missed all of training camp and pre-season action with the Winnipeg Jets but certainly not his confidence. Meeting reporters on Monday for the first time since inking a new two-year contract with the Jets last week, the 21-year-old sniper said he expects big things from himself and the team this season."I know I'll be good for the next two years. I'm gonna score a lot of goals, that's for sure," he said. "I'm going to be betting on myself." He was responding to a question about signing a shorter deal, compared teammates Kyle Connor (seven years) or Josh Morrissey (eight years).

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