Maurice: Pressure to sign Laine, Connor will mount as season nears

Darcy Finley / National Hockey League / Getty

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice knows the tension surrounding Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor's contract negotiations will only increase as the club gets closer to convening for the 2019-20 season.

"The pressure on both sides kind of comes at the same time, that the closer you get to the season, the more pressure comes on the team and the player to get a contract signed," Maurice told's Tim Campbell. "We'll see that mount and we're hopeful (they'll be signed) by the time the puck drops. You want everybody at camp, absolutely, but you really hope everybody's done by the time the season starts."

Winnipeg's training camp begins Sept. 13. Laine and Connor are two of several star restricted free agents around the league who've yet to put pen to paper this offseason.

"Everybody wants these contracts done but we all knew this was going to be late, that it wasn't going to happen early because they're almost moving en masse. I think once one or two go, they'll all line up," Maurice said.

The Jets have over $16.1 million in available cap space to sign the two young wingers, along with goalie and fellow RFA Eric Comrie, according to Cap Friendly.

Laine was wildly inconsistent in 2018-19 but still managed to pot 30 goals for the third consecutive season to start his career. Connor, who's carved out a prominent role for himself on the Jets' top line alongside Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, posted a personal-best 34 goals and 66 points in 82 games.

Maurice: Pressure to sign Laine, Connor will mount as season nears
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