Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine has received his $7.5MM qualifying offer from the team and is giving strong consideration to simply accepting it, suggests Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch. The 23-year-old disappointed after being acquired from Winnipeg, notching just 21 points in 45 games. While he’s eligible for salary arbitration, Laine would be hard-pressed to land considerably more than that in a hearing even factoring in his previous success with the Jets. If Laine does indeed accept the offer, he will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights again next summer and will be owed a $7.5MM qualifier once again. Notably, he’d also be a year away from unrestricted free agency at that time.
More from the Eastern Conference:
- The Sabres have started contract discussions with pending RFA defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, reports Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News. The number one pick in 2018 took a considerable step back offensively in 2020-21, notching just 23 points in 56 games after putting up 40 in 59 contests in his sophomore season. As a result, it seems unlikely that Dahlin and Buffalo will be able to work out a long-term agreement that satisfies both sides so instead, a shorter-term pact that leaves the blueliner as a restricted free agent at the end of it is a more realistic outcome.
- Still with Buffalo, the Sabres are continuing discussions with goaltender Linus Ullmark who is set to become an unrestricted free agent, relays John Vogl of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 27-year-old was one of three pending UFAs protected from Seattle in expansion but that was more of a case of Buffalo not having another one worth protecting than a sign that talks were progressing. They opted not to trade him back at the trade deadline in the hopes that they’d be able to Ullmark under contract and they now have less than a week to do so before the free agent market opens up.
- Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov has changed agents, PuckPedia reports (Twitter link). He’s now represented by Gold Star Hockey’s Dan Milstein, an agent that represents several Russian-born players. Kravtsov is eligible to sign a contract extension this summer and will be a restricted free agent next summer.