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Blue Jackets Sign Laine to Four-Year Extension

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forward Patrik Laine to a four-year contract extension with an AAV of $8.7 million.
Patrik Laine

One of the top restricted free agents has found a new deal. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets continued their torrid offseason on Friday afternoon, agreeing to terms with forward Patrik Laine on a four-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $8.7 million. 

The details of the deal, which now ties Laine to Columbus through the 2025-26 season, such as its salary structure or the inclusion of any trade protection have yet to be determined. 

As it turns out, the thought of playing alongside Johnny Gaudreau for the foreseeable future is a pretty good motivator. Laine now enters the season with the prospect of lining up alongside Johnny Hockey as the Blue Jackets' new vaunted one-two punch, finally giving him a legitimate playmaker to fuel his goal-scoring prowess. 

Questions still remain, though. 

When Laine is on, he's one of the game's best goal scorers, ripping pucks past opposing netminders with the best of them and wowing audiences and foes alike. And in a league in which goals rule, that's arguably the most valuable commodity a player can have.

The only problem is that Laine is not "on" all the time. In fact, his effort typically falls into a 50/50 split depending on the year, as the Finnish sniper has been prone to experience months-long stretches during which his production dries up and his intensity level plummets.

With Laine, you take the good with the bad. That's the deal you make. But when you never know which side you're going to get in any given season, a long-term contract becomes a truly dicey proposition. 

The addition of Gaudreau along with Columbus' newfound dreams of contention will likely help iron out some of those wrinkles in Laine moving forward. At least, that's what the team is hoping for after tying nearly $9 million in cap space to him.  

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