Patrik Laine takes part in the player support program

Patrik Laine takes part in the player support program

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine will take advantage of the National Hockey League (NHL) and Players' Association (NHLPA) Player Assistance Program.

The news was confirmed by the NHL on Sunday.

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The striker has not played a game since December 14 due to a collarbone injury.

In 18 games since the start of the regular season, Laine has just nine points, including six goals.

“Patrick [Laine] has our full support and our only concern is his well-being, club general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement released on Sunday. Out of respect for Patrik, we will have no further comment.”

“Hockey was my passion and my life, but I realized that I needed to take time to focus on myself in order to perform at my best,” Laine explained on the social network Instagram. I am grateful for the understanding and support of my team, the league and our fans during this time.”

The Finn will return to the game once he receives approval from the program administrators.

In doing so, Laine imitates several other players who have used this program, including recently Quebec's Samuel Girard and, most notably, Carey Price and Jonathan Drouin.

Last year, the Finn scored 52 points in 55 games with the Jackets. His current contract, worth $8.7 million per season, expires at the end of the 2025-2026 season.