Blue Jackets' Laine: 'I want to stay here for sure'
The 23-year-old notched an underwhelming 21 points over 45 games after arriving in Columbus from the Winnipeg Jets, and he didn't seem comfortable under head coach John Tortorella.
"It's not the system's fault. It's just my fault," Laine told NHL.com's Craig Merz on Monday. "I don't think it matters who is behind the bench. I still have to go out there and do what I do, and I couldn't do that this year, but I'll do that next year.
"I love it here and I want to stay here for sure."
Given the rocky start and his status as a restricted free agent this offseason, Laine's future with the club is a prominent talking point.
The Blue Jackets and Tortorella parted ways on Sunday after six years. The notoriously hard-nosed coach benched Laine multiple times this season, with the first instance coming during the Finnish winger's fifth game with the club.
Laine said his confidence suffered due to his failure to produce. He finished the 2021 campaign with a career-worst 0.47 points per game.
The sniper signed a two-year, $13.5-million contract with the Jets in 2019. The Blue Jackets hold over $25 million in cap space this coming offseason to accommodate a new deal for Laine, according to Cap Friendly.