The most talked about NHL transfer of the early season got its seal on Saturday when the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets slapped their hands on a deal with Patrik Laine, Jack Roslovic and Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Laine and Roslovic moved from Winnipeg to Columbus, Dubois in the other direction.
With Dubois, a third-round booking flight for 2022 will also travel to Winnipeg.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekäläinen, who was plotting the move, told the Canadian media Sportsnet podcast that the team had tried to get Laine into the ranks as early as 2016. At that time, Winnipeg booked the Finnish striker in his second booking round in the NHL draft.
Columbus had a third booking turn, but Kekäläinen and his troops had tried to rub the deal from the second booking turn and getting Laine.
We tried hell hard to get up from third place, but we didn’t succeed.
That's when we thought we got the next best player, Kekäläinen said.
That third draft round player was Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Kekäläinen refused to reveal how he tried to get a booking shift and Wave to Columbus.
- I never talk about the private conversations I had with general managers.
I never put my colleagues in a bad light by saying that he offered that or that player, Kekäläinen stated.
Dubois, a 22-year-old Canadian striker, wanted to leave Columbus as the current season progressed.
Read more: Jarmo Kekäläinen again in a nasty situation in the NHL - there is nothing more ambiguous about the team's diamond intentions
In the interview, Kekäläinen did not comment on the reasons behind Dubois's transfer request.
However, he said that after Dubois' last game, it became clear that the move was to be completed quickly.
According to Kekäläinen, behind the scenes, the teams had discussed the deal for a long time.
Like Dubois, Laine and Roslovic, who left Winnipeg, had hoped for a transfer.
Roslovic, 23, was a limited free agent and now signed a two-year, 3.8 million contract with Columbus.
Jarmo Kekäläinen is the general manager of Columbus Blue Jackets. Photo: Joshua A. Bickel / Lehtikuva
Wave’s contract with Columbus expires after this period.
However, his rights will remain in Ohio even after that.
Under NHL rules, Columbus must offer Laine a contract worth at least $ 7.5 million a year after this period, which is his salary for this period.
According to Kekäläinen, Columbus' goal is to get Laine on the team for a long time.
- We have already started discussions (on the agreement).
We had a really good conversation with Patrik.
He has the same goal as us, to build a long cooperation.
I hope he will be with us for a long time.