The name of the Finnish star Patrik Laine has risen closely in the NHL's transfer speculation over the past couple of days.
The rumor mill took considerable extra laps when TSN released its traditional hottest transfer destination list on Tuesday.
At the top of the list of 20 players are the names most likely to be traded by the Canadian media.
The wave was fifth.
- Laine, one of the NHL's real goal guns, is expected to be on the table this fall as the Jets explore ways to fill in the gaps, defense and midfield of their lineup, TSN writes.
The Jets would feverishly need a top-notch defender in particular, and there are not many pieces in its lineup whose exchange value would be enough to make up for the shortcomings.
TSN estimates that the goods on the table in the negotiations are Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers.
However, it adds that trading in Laine, despite its high listing, is still anything but certain.
Teemu Selänne will also be highlighted.
- The mere presence of Laine's name on the Trade Bait list is enough to tear open the incurable wounds of a generation of Winnipegians who were born in 1996 when Selänne was traded to Anaheim, TSN hacked Jets' previous young Finnish cannon in connection with the shock trade.
The Canadian media also paints a real Finnish supermarket chain in the NHL.
- A team like Carolina Hurricanes, whose Downstairs exudes top defenders, could be an interesting trading partner for the Jets.
At the same time, Carolina could make a completely Finnish chain, where Laine would get alongside her youth national team radar pair Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teräväinen.
Hirmuvitja Jesse Puljujärvi, Sebastian Aho and Patrik Laine washed the young people's World Cup gold at home in 2016. Seeing Laine and Aho - why not also Puljujärvi - in the same NHL team would certainly be suitable for Finnish puck fans. Photo: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva
General speculation has also portrayed Montreal, for example, as a potential trading partner for the Jets, thirsting for goal-scoring power and rumored to be trading as Max Domia, who has played as a central striker in recent seasons.
Unlike other Jets star strikers, Laine’s two-year contract will expire next season.
However, his rights will still remain with the Jets at the time, and the most likely scenario has been considered that after next season, Laine will make a long and moneyly follow-up deal with Winnipeg.
- The only reason I would see Laine traded is that Winnipeg would not believe it would be able to mortgage Laine on a long contract.
Or that the return price would be so fierce that the Jets couldn’t refuse it, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, meanwhile, pondered on Hockey Central.
- Laine is entering the second term of her two-year contract, after which she is only two years away from being an unrestricted free agent.
If Winnipeg trades in Laine now, it tells me they don’t think they can keep him in the future, Friedman continued.
The list of TSN's hottest transfer destinations also includes another Finn, Rasmus Ristolainen in 18th place.
Buffalo’s defender has reportedly wanted to be out of the club for a long time now, and his name has been rumored in transfer rumors for a long time.
Top of the TSN list
(no unlimited free agents on the list)
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh (mv)
James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia (lh)
Josh Anderson, Columbus (lh)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona (p)
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg (lh)
Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia (p)
Kyle Palmieri, New Jersey (lh)
Max Domi, Montreal (kh)
Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas (mv)
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh (p)