When most NHLers were worrying about returning to North America, Patrik Laine was chilling in Finland because there was no confirmation that the NHL would return as scheduled as negotiations were ongoing between the NHL and NHLPA. He was unbothered and just living his life until things were settled in North America.
Laine’s attitude continued to be at it’s best when he returned to Winnipeg and spoke to the media for the first time. He joked about not being in playoff shape yet and needing a few more days to get there. Laine was honest about how he wasn’t quite ready to play and that he would need the rest of camp to get ready.
These comments come after his Zoom call during the shutdown where he said he would need to take his computer with him to the bubble because it would be boring because players would be locked down in hotels. Laine is right in his assessment of what lockdown could feel like and his solution definitely leans into the idea that he is the gamer on the team. Hopefully he will have a Western Conference gaming league going during the playoffs so players who like to game or need something to do can play together.
Laine is a rarity with NHLers and the media in the sense that he is almost too unfiltered in a refreshing way. There is nothing wrong with saying he is not in game shape after only a couple days of camp or that it will be boring in a bubble so he will have to bring something to keep himself busy. Laine’s honesty is refreshing without being too revealing. He has not come a long way from the guy who did his first Sportsnet interview lying on his bedroom floor. Hopefully he never changes too much in this aspect.