With trade rumors surrounding the Winnipeg Jets and Patrik Laine, there are many wondering if a deal is coming any time soon. However, Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe writes that no matter what happens between the Jets and Laine, nothing will be happening any time soon.
With most teams already at the flatlined salary cap, Wiebe writes that general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will likely wait until next offseason when more teams might have the cap room to take on Laine and be able to send the assets that the Jets want back. That’s not to say that the Jets have given up on signing Laine to an extension. The scribe writes that while the two sides have had some issues, he doesn’t believe that it has reached a point of no return and believes an extension is just possible as a trade.
The problem with a contract is that Laine is a rare gem, who has 138 goals in 305 games and is tied for seventh in the league for goals scored since 2016. Throw in the fact that he’s still quite young at age 22 and is just starting to develop into a complete player and it isn’t easy coming up with the parameters of a deal.
- The Buffalo Sabres could go in two different directions this season with a team having a solid chance to reach the playoffs. However, if the team goes its usual route lately and once again find themselves out of the playoffs near the trade deadline, NBC Sports James O’Brien writes that Buffalo would have a few assets that could net them a solid return. While newly signed forward Taylor Hall has a no movement clause, it still quite plausible that he would waive that if things go south in Buffalo to get a chance at the playoffs, while veteran Eric Staal might also proven to be a valuable asset if the team doesn’t make the playoffs. The 36-year-old has a affordable $3.25MM contract, which could make him attractive down the road. That doesn’t even include players like Rasmus Ristolainen, Carter Hutton and a few others who are already on the team. Needless to say, the hope is the team finally breaks its nine-year playoff drought, but it could turn into a different direction if things don’t go right in Buffalo.
- Just yesterday, it was announced that Team Sweden would be without 2021 draft prospect William Eklund for the World Junior Championship this year after the 18-year-old tested positive for COVID-19. Now Sweden has taken another hit immediately after that news when Adam Johansson of Expressen.se reports (translation required) that the team’s No. 1 center Karl Henriksson will also have to miss the World Juniors after also testing positive for COVID-19. While the World Juniors don’t start in Edmonton until Dec. 26, the Swedish team is expected to leave for Canada on Dec. 13th, too late for the two young prospects to pass quarantine rules before having to enter the country. Henriksson, a second-round pick of the New York Rangers in 2019, has been centering top prospects Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz in international play and will be a big loss for Sweden.
- Sticking with the World Juniors, Team USA has lost a few prospects as a Boston University trio will not be attending the World Juniors training camp due to COVID-19 protocols, according to New England Hockey Journal’s Jeff Cox. The U.S. team will have to do without forward Robert Mastrosimone, a second-round pick in 2019 by the Detroit Red Wings; defenseman Alex Vlasic, a second-round pick in 2019 by the Chicago Blackhawks; and goaltender Drew Commesso, a second-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks this year.