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Laine among Winnipeg Jets' injured, Tanev went under the knife

Patrick Laine addresses media as the Winnipeg Jets cleaned out their lockers at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg on Mon., April 22, 2019. Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun/Postmedia Network
Patrick Laine addresses media as the Winnipeg Jets cleaned out their lockers at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg on Mon., April 22, 2019. - Kevin King/Postmedia Network

All Patrik Laine wants to do is go home and forget about hockey.

With his entry-level contract coming to an end, the Winnipeg Jets winger met with the media on Monday, but wasn’t ready to discuss what his next deal might look like.

The pain of the first-round exit courtesy of the St. Louis Blues was still too fresh.

“Not worried about that right now. Right now, I want to forget everything that is involved with hockey,” said Laine. “That’s something I’m not thinking about right now. I know I don’t have a contract (for next season) right now but there’s a lot of time before the next year. I’m not worried about the contract right now. Just trying to forget about hockey and focus on other stuff.”

Laine is one of 15 free agents on the Jets roster and he could be looking for the biggest contract.

Laine also revealed he was the other Jets player who was questionable to suit up in Game 6, as he was dealing with groin and back issues.

“I was kind of struggling with my back pretty much the whole year. I had kind of a small groin injury at the end of the playoffs,” said Laine. “But nothing I couldn’t handle.”

Laine said the back issue is something that’s been an issue for quite some time.

“I’ve had it for the last couple of years,” said Laine. “Last year in the playoffs, didn’t really skate because I couldn’t. Kind of same thing started again this year. But it’s not an excuse for me. I was still able to play and I was able to play good. So when there were times when I wasn’t play good, it’s not an excuse for me.

“I’ve worked on it a lot over the past couple of years but it just seems like it always comes back. Just don’t know why. Just trying to still take good care of it and there’s a long summer so hopefully get a good recovery on that, too. Hopefully it’s not going to be painful next season.”

Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers said he played Game 6 with a micro-fracture in his leg after blocking a shot from Blues defenceman Colton Parayko in the final minute of Game 5.

“It did not feel great. We tried a lot of things to make it feel a little better and it definitely did get a little better,” said Ehlers. “But for me, it’s part of it. Everyone’s played with some injuries and I didn’t want to sit out. I wanted to play and I wanted to help this team. So I don’t know what could have happened if we won that game but I wanted to play and they told me I could.”

Jets forward Brandon Tanev said that the broken finger he suffered on the slash from Minnesota Wild centre Eric Staal led to him having surgery just a few days before the playoffs began.

“I wanted to get back into the lineup and play and help the team as much as I could during this playoff run and that was the necessary actions for me to get back in that situation,” said Tanev. “No one’s at 100% in the playoffs. That’s the understanding you have to have going into the playoffs if you’re a little banged up.”

kwiebe@postmedia.com

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