By: Jack Gotsell | Follow me on Twitter @jackgotsell
The Rumors of Patrik Laine on the move have been hot. A Bruins reporter, Jimmy Murphy, and the Causeway Crowd recently mention that Laine could redeem the Bruins offseason. However, this is far from the truth.
Laine is a very talented scorer when he wants to be. But the truth of the matter is that Laine is incredibly lazy. The six-foot-five right-wing had 28 goals, 35 assists, and 63 points last season. That looks nice, but with his defensive play and streakiness, he is a nightmare next to Jake DeBrusk.
The Jets are also reportedly asking for a king’s ransom for Laine. This would most likely mean DeBrusk, Carlo, and possibly Studnicka for the lazy forward. Laine is, at best, a small upgrade from DeBrusk with his streakiness and lazy defensive play. He would definitely add more scoring, but it would come at the cost of terrible defense, creating a whole new problem and a new hole at second-line left wing.
Laine looks disinterested at times when he is not gifted scoring chances. He is not the type of player that battles adversity well that you surely have to go through to win a Stanley Cup. When he is in a slump, Laine seems to play even lazier and doesn’t seem to score a dirty goal to free himself from that slump.
What bothers me the most about Laine is his laziness on the backcheck. In his own zone, you could even hear Jets’ former assistant captain Dustin Byfuglien scream at him to move. Laine was also benched a lot in his time at Winnipeg due to his poor play, sometimes playing close to only 11 minutes a night.
The Bruins had an issue this season with forwards David Pasternak and Ondrej Kase making poor decisions forcing them to miss time in this season’s NHL bubble. Laine is known for off the ice issues in Winnipeg, which is another red flag for the Finnish forward. Winnipeg had to ban video games on the road last season because it was a big distraction for Laine.
The Bruins have a tight-knit group and act like a family. There are reasons to be concerned that Laine is not committed to winning or hockey for that matter. Winnipeg’s leadership group in Bo Horvat and Dustin Byfuglien both had problems with Laine. What’s to say Chara if he returns and Bergeron would not also have issues with Laine.
Laine has one of the best shots in the NHL and is often compared to Alexander Ovechkin in that department. However, the risks outweigh the rewards when you factor in what the Bruins would have to give up for a player with a less than stellar reputation. Two inconsistent wingers next to David Krejci are not the formula to bring a cup back to Boston, and the Bruins should steer clear of Laine in a trade that could haunt the black and gold for years to come.
Mike Hoffman would be a less risky option that also struggles in his own zone and possesses a rocket shot. The Bruins would not have to give up anything to get Hoffman, and it is reported that he would be open to taking a one-year deal, which lowers the risk of signing the winger. The best option, in my opinion, however, is Anthony Duclair. Not a big name player but one who has a well-rounded game and is extremely versatile with speed.