Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine being all-in is good no matter what happens

Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine (29). Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine (29). Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Patrik Laine being all in for the Winnipeg Jets is only a good thing.

Who knows how much longer the Patrik Laine and Winnipeg Jets marriage can survive for, but it is a positive sign that the want-away star looks absolutely dialled in to start to the 2020-21 NHL season.

Amidst all the talk about the NHL staging a full season in the middle of a Pandemic was plenty of trade talk, and a lot of that revolved around Laine who seems pretty determined to force his way out of Winnipeg.

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Now, I’ve never been to Winnipeg or anyway near that part of Canada, but I can’t imagine it is all that bad and, plus, I can only guess that it is pretty cool to play in-front of the Winnipeg White Out during Playoff time.

However, for whatever reason, Laine seems set on continuing what will be a stellar career elsewhere, and this year could be the year that the talented forward gets dealt as part of a blockbuster trade given what the other team will be getting in return.

By the way, I did mention a potential straight swap between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Jets, with another disgruntled star in Pierre-Luc Dubois heading to Winnipeg and Laine going in the opposite direction, which you can read about here.

Anyway, I digress. No matter what happens in what will be a crazy year, the fact that Laine has started the 2020-21 season locked and loaded and fully engaged is a huge positive all-round. I mean, the 22-year-old was sensational in Winnipeg’s Opening Night 4-3 Overtime win of the Calgary Flames.

Red-hot Patrik Laine is great news for the Winnipeg Jets

He finished with three points (2 G, 1 A) and scored the game-winner in OT, taking the puck way back in his own zone before travelling the full-length of the ice and ripping an unstoppable shot past Jacob Markstrom, using Jets defenseman Neal Pionk as a decoy on a two-on-one.

Laine’s first goal of the night was also pretty special; Kyle Connor spotting Laine skating in behind the Calgary defense and setting the uber-talented winger free who then proceeded to do the rest by firing a wrister into the top corner to make it a tied game in the first period.

That wasn’t all, either, with Laine firing a perfect cross-ice pass to Connor who beat Markstrom with a wicked one-timer, while Laine also got into it with Matthew Tkachuk after going after Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin for cross-checking Connor in the back. Laine only got a roughing penalty, however, which robbed him off the chance to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick.

That was the only blemish on what was an otherwise perfect night for Laine, who did a little bit of everything for the Jets and was a key cog in their opening win of the season. He looked dangerous at all times and he just made things happen for Winnipeg during periods of the game when they craved a spark of creativity.

It was a welcome sight given that one of the biggest slights aimed at Laine in the past is that he can be guilty of switching off and not looking interested at points, bad habits that have somewhat tainted his time in Winnipeg and perhaps prevented him from taking that next big leap in his development and in his career. Anyone remember the 15-game goal drought where he also only recorded four assists in that span too?

However, there was something different about Patrik Laine on Thursday night, maybe a sign that the player is maturing the older he gets and is now finally understanding that the best way to get what he ultimately wants is to knuckle down, commit to the cause, give everything he’s got every single night and let his game do the talking.

Because that’s the rub here. The Winnipeg Jets are not going to trade their biggest asset, or one of anyway, for anything less than top value and nor should they. So, Laine being all-in from the get-go this year and performing like he did on Opening Night will only put more NHL General Managers on high alert and, therefore, start a potential bidding war and ensure that the Jets get a more than fair return for letting one of their biggest stars go, while Laine would then get his pick of destinations to choose from. Everyone is a winner.

Next. Hats off to a white-hot Konecny. dark

Therefore, it is paramount that Patrik Laine continues to remain as locked in as he was on Thursday night and, if he can have a monster season and really prove that he’s the real deal, then it will only lead to everyone getting what they want in the long-term and that is the best-case scenario in this current situation.