Around the NHL: Patrik Laine reportedly wants a new start, Sarah Fillier was selected first overall in the 2024 PWHL Draft, and more!

Photo credit:© Sam Navarro - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
It looks as if the National Hockey League season could be wrapping up in the next week or so.
In this edition of Around the NHL, we’ll look at news surrounding the Stanley Cup Final, as well as the second-ever Professional Women’s Hockey League draft, and some other tidbits from around the league.
Let’s get into it!

Patrik Laine wants a new start

Another player whose future is uncertain is Patrik Laine. According to Pierre LeBrun on Wednesday’s edition of Insider Trading, the 26-year-old is looking for a fresh start after four seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Drafted with the second overall pick in the 2016 draft, Laine looked as if he was going to become one of the best snipers in the league, scoring 80 goals in his first two seasons in 155 games with the Winnipeg Jets. However, he regressed to 30 goals in 82 games during the 2018-19 season, and hasn’t hit that mark since.
The pace is still there, though. In 2021-22, he only played 56 games where he scored 26 goals, on pace for 38 goals in a full 82 games season. Laine’s next season saw him score 22 goals in 55 games, on pace for 32 goals.
In 18 games this past season, Laine had six goals and 15 points before a broken clavicle sidelined him, and he entered the NHL Player Assistance Program.
It seems like the Blue Jackets are willing to help find him a new home, and a change of scenery could do him some good.

PWHL 2024 Draft

On June 10, the Professional Women’s Hockey League hosted their second ever draft at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
With the first overall pick, the PWHL team in New York selected Sarah Fillier, who most recently scored 30 goals and 43 points in 29 games for Princeton University, as well as winning a gold medal at the 2022 Olympics. Danielle Serdachny was selected second overall by PWHL Ottawa from Colgate University, Calire Thompson went third overall.
Ohio State University teammates Hannah Bilka and Cayla Barnes went fourth and fifth to Boston and Montréal respectively, and Julia Gosling went sixth overall to Toronto.
Interestingly, Amanda Kessel, who works in the front office of the Pittsburgh Penguins, was selected in the seventh round as the 41st overall pick by Montréal. The 32-year-old has competed in three Olympics, winning the silver medal in 2014 and 2022, as well as the gold medal in 2018. It’s unclear what her future will be.

News from the Stanley Cup Final

Despite five questionable plays that could have warranted a talk with the Department of Player Safety, there was only one infraction that got the attention. After the Florida Panthers iced the game with an empty net goal, Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Carrick speared Panthers defencemen Dmitry Kulikov in “the region” and received a $2,213.54 fine.
There were some other questionable plays in this game. For example, there were two kneeing incidents, with former Flame and current Panther Sam Bennett receiving a two minute tripping penalty and Warren Foegele receiving a five and a game for a kneeing penalty.
On top of that, Bennett took a run at Oilers defencemen Philip Broberg shortly before the game-winning goal, and Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl hit Panthers’ captain Aleksander Barkov in the head with an elbow.
Speaking of Barkov, the captain should be good to go in Thursday’s game, according to The Athletic’s Chris Johnston. Moreover, while the Department of Player Safety didn’t like the hit, they didn’t believe it was suspendable as he didn’t extend his elbow.
In 84 prior Stanley Cup Finals since the league changed to a seven-game format in 1939, only five teams have come back down 2-0 in a series, with the most recent time being in 2011. Moreover, only six other teams have forced a game seven, with 22 teams forcing at least a game six.
The Oilers are in deep, which is great for Canada’s team, the Florida Panthers.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.
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