Laine Re-signs with Blue Jackets, Siegenthaler Inks Five-Year Deal with Devils
Laine – The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed Patrik Laine to a four-year, USD34.8-million deal that allows him to stay with the team through 2026. The transaction enables the Blue Jackets to keep Laine even after adding top free agent Johnny Gaudreau. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen ensures that the salary cap wouldn’t be an issue. This is in re-signing the winger, a restricted free agent. To make room for the transaction, Columbus traded Oliver Bjorkstrand to the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a third- and a fourth-round pick in the 2023 draft.
The 24-year-old Tampere native has 184 goals and 158 assists in 431 NHL regular-season and playoff games with the Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets. With Laine staying and Gaudreau signing with the Blue Jackets, the team has a loaded roster composed of top defenseman Zach Werenski, rookie center Kent Johnson, 2021 first-round pick Cole Sillinger, captain Boone Jenner and 27-year-old goaltender Elvis Merzlikins. The deal makes Columbus a solid playoff contender and an NHL betting favorite in the 2022-23 season.
Kraken Snap Up Star Talent in Bjorkstrand
The Seattle Kraken has acquired 27-year-old Oliver Bjorkstrand from the Columbus Blue Jackets via trade. The transaction comes after the Danish star set career-highs in goals with 28 and points (57). He matched his season-best in assists with 29. The Kraken has made a splash in their second year in the NHL by signing Stanley Cup-winning winger Andre Burakovsky, defenseman Justin Schultz and goaltenders Martin Jones and Magnus Heliberg during the offseason.
New Jersey Gives Jonas Siegenthaler Five-Year Extension
Jonas Siegenthaler stays with the New Jersey Devils as the defenseman signed a five-year extension worth USD17 million. The new deal will commence in the 2023-24 season as the Swiss defenseman will earn USD3.4 million a year. The 25-year-old Siegenthaler set career highs last season in games played (70), assists (13), points (14), and shots (92). He led the team in hits, ranked second in blocked shots, and placed third in short-handed time on ice. The defenseman appeared in 175 games and recorded three goals and 24 assists in four NHL seasons.
Kaapo Kakko, Rangers Agree on Two-Year Deal
The New York Rangers and 21-year-old forward Kaapo Kakko have agreed on a two-year deal worth USD4.2 million. The transaction with the second overall pick in the 2019 draft carried a USD2.1-million salary cap hit. In the 2021-22 season, Kakko played in 43 games and scored seven goals and 11 assists. He had a plus-nine rating. The forward came up with two goals and three assists in 19 playoff games last season. Kakko put up 26 goals and 32 assists in 157 games. The signing ensures the Rangers a vital piece in their playoff squad as they aim to go beyond the Eastern Conference finals.
Tkachuk to Panthers for Three Players, Draft Pick
The Calgary Flames dealt Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schmidt, and a lottery-protected first-round selection in the 2025 NHL draft. With the move, Tkachuk will play with Florida until the 2029-30 season. Sources said the eight-year deal was worth USD76 million. Report said the 24-year-old does not want to extend his stay in Calgary. It has led the Flames to trade him. Calgary, in return, will secure the services of Huberdeau, the Panthers’ career leader in games, assists, and points.
The transaction broke up the Panthers’ 1-2 combo of Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov. Last season, Tkachuk starred in Calgary, recording career bests of 42 goals, 62 assists, and 104 points. Huberdeau, meanwhile, recorded 115 points on 85 dimes and 30 markers. The trade also meant that the Flames would not have their top two scorers in the 2022-23 season as Johnny Gaudreau signed up with Columbus last week. The deal will be tremendous for the Flames as they will get Huberdeau as a replacement for Gaudreau and Tkachuk. As for the Panthers, the team will have a long-term investment in Tkachuk, who will team up with Barkov to form one of the most exciting duos in the league next season, according to sports oddsmakers.