Columbus Blue Jackets Star Suffers Injury in Season Opener

Patrik Laine Columbus Blue Jackets

After signing Johnny Gaudreau, one of the most coveted free agents available during the off-season, the  Columbus Blue Jackets enter the season with hopes of returning to post season action. However, their season opener did not go good at all.

The Blue Jackets lost their opening game against the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 4-1. They will now be without one of their star forwards, who was injured during the game, for a extended period of time.

Columbus Blue Jackets Star to Miss 3-4 Weeks

Patrik Laine Injured in season opener

The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that right wing Patrik Laine will be sidelined for 3-4 weeks with an elbow sprain.

Laine suffered the injury midway through the second period. While in pursuit of the puck in the offensive zone, the right winger took a hit from Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Brett Pesce. The 6’5 sniper left the game after taking the hit and was seen in obvious discomfort on the Blue Jackets bench.

Laine opened the scoring giving the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead just 11 seconds into the middle frame. He had two shots on goal to go along with one hit and one block in 7:49 of ice time in the contest.

Entering his seventh NHL season Laine has played for the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets. He has 177 goals and 151 assists for 328 career points in 408 career games played. He was originally drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1st round, 2nd overall in the 2016 NHL entry draft. A blockbuster trade sent the Finnish sniper to the Blue Jackets during the 2020-21 season.

What This Means for the Future

After inking Gaudreau long term, Columbus was hoping the chemistry between him and Laine would be instanteous. However, Blue Jackets fans and Front Office will have to wait at least 3-4 weeks before seeing how well the two highly skilled forwards will play together.

In the meantime Columbus has recalled rookie forward Kent Johnson. Expect veteran Jakub Voracek to step up into Laine’s first-line role. Head coach, Brad Larsen, can slot the rookie onto the line as well.

Laine missed 26 games last season and the Blue Jackets posted a record of 10-14-2 without him in the lineup. Provided his recovery time stays on schedule the sniper will miss 11 games. A return near the November 10th game against the Philadelphia Flyers look plausible. The Blue Jackets postseason hopes will take a big hit if he is sidelined any longer than already announced.

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