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Real Reason Jets Signed Stastny Wasn’t To Keep Patrik Laine [Report]

Can Paul Stastny and Patrik Laine rekindle their success with the Winnipeg Jets and if so, does that up the odds of a Laine trade?

When the Winnipeg Jets brought back center Paul Stastny, immediate reactions by insiders, analysts, media and Jets’ fans was that Jets’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff did so in an effort to find a center that would click with disgruntled winger Patrik Laine. There’s certainly some truth to that. But, according to a recent report, that’s not necessarily the main reason the Jets pulled the trigger on the Stastny trade with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Related: Six Possible Patrik Laine Trade Options for Jets to Consider

According to Sean Reynolds of Sportsnet’s Hockey Central, the real reason (or at least the primary one) was that the Jets thought it might be wise to bring back Stastny in an effort to up Laine’s trade value.

Laine has been vocal about his desire to move on and would prefer it if the Jets traded him. Reynold’s doesn’t believe adding Stastny changes Laine’s outlook and he’s pretty confident the Jets ultimately don’t think so either.

While it’s not impossible to envision a scenario where Laine lights it up and reconsiders his desire to leave, Reynold’s said that the bigger issue is that Laine feels like he’s a top line player. Stastny’s addition doesn’t put Laine where he wants to be. In fact, it essentially cements him on that second line. With that in mind, Reynold’s talked about the notion that Stastny was added to make Laine more attractive to other teams and said, “Ya, I think it definitely does and I think it’s one of the main reasons that, that move is made.”

Noting that a productive Laine is a more valuable Laine on the NHL marketplace, Reynold’s added:

“… if you bring in a guy like Paul Stastny, who he’s had success with in the past, and they can rekindle that success, then it just makes Patrik Laine that much more valuable on the trade market.”

Neither Laine or Stastny Seem Like Long-Term Fits

The reality is, Laine has said he wants to be moved. To that end, the Jets would trade him if the right offer came along and the rumors of him being out there in trade talks this offseason weren’t unfounded.

Patrik-Laine-29-Highlights-

While adding Stastny is a nice gesture and could be seen as a bone thrown out there that the Jets would like to keep Laine happy, there’s not much of a reason to think that adding Stastny changes the fact that Laine will eventually be moved. At the same time, Stastny isn’t exactly locked in long-term either.

The center has one more season on his current deal and at that point, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. He could stick around, but he’s left before and if there’s no Laine, unless Stastny comes back on a significantly discounted deal in 2021-22, there may not be a big reason to keep him around.

Next: Alex Ovechkin Clears Up Confusion About Leaving Capitals

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