Oct. 31 isn’t a public holiday in Finland, but last year many kids had the day off from school.
The Winnipeg Jets and Florida Panthers were playing back-to-back games in Helsinki on Nov. 1 and 2, as part of the NHL’s Global Series, and as the Jets took to the ice at Hartwall Arena for their morning skate on Halloween, they were met by about 1,000 fans who’d bought tickets to the open practice. In the stands, one particular group of about 20 kids, many of them in blue No. 29 jerseys, start chanting “Lai-ne! Lai-ne! Lai-ne!” waving frantically whenever the Finnish star skated in their direction, hoping for some kind of response.
With 80 goals in his first two NHL seasons, along with a World Junior Championship gold medal in 2016 and his often-entertaining interviews, Patrik Laine has cemen...
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