The issues may not have disappeared completely, but as far as the one that includes winger Patrik Laine being benched on Monday in the second and third period, “We’ve moved on,” Laine said. Adding “We’ve talked about it. It’s going to stay in the room, but it’s all good now,” everyone involved in the incident is putting what got said behind them and trying to move forward as a group.
We may never know what Laine uttered that got him in hot water, but it appears Laine said it to assistant coach Brad Larsen. The winger took the coach aside during Wednesday’s practice, had a lengthy one-on-one chat, and it ended with Laine tapping Larsen twice on the chest and the coach tapping him back on the shin guards, according to Athletic reporter Aaron Portzline.
Reports are that Laine was benched for ‘verbally disrespecting’ the coach. When Laine spoke to the media after practice he noted that sometimes you say things you wish you hadn’t said and added, “If that kind of stuff happens, you deserve to get benched. That’s just the way it is.”
Tortorella called it a non-issue moving forward and said the media was making it out to be more than it is. “We’re just trying to do it the right way, problem-solve when we need to, and try to get about our business.” He noted, “You guys are a little bit more worried and anxious about it than we are.”
It Wasn’t About Laine Being Lazy
The head coach didn’t want to talk much about it, but one of the things Tortorella did want to make clear was that the benching was not about Laine being lazy or missing an assignment. He said, “I don’t think Patty should be put in the shade of light that he was lazy or that he didn’t work hard enough because that’s not what the kid’s about.” He added, “We know he’s a great competitor and a really good player.”
Laine actually said he liked the fact that Tortorella didn’t let things slide. Saying it’s great to know that, regardless of who you are, you will get benched if you do something you shouldn’t, it’s nice to know his way isn’t biased or unfair.
Mike Foligno gave a lot of credit to Laine for quickly picking up the vibe of environment he’s now in. Foligno noted, “This is our standard here. This is how we go about our business, how we’ve been a successful team a lot of years.”
Laine added that he doesn’t see any issues moving forward and this incident won’t affect his contract negotiations.
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