Blue Jackets' Patrik Laine condemns podcast's suicide remark

Patrik Laine and his agency criticized an insensitive comment about suicide made on a podcast Monday in reference to the Columbus Blue Jackets forward, who is currently receiving care from the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.

Octagon Hockey, in a statement posted to social media Tuesday, said it was disappointed in the "reprehensible remark" about Laine being away from the team because he was contemplating what was phrased as a reference to suicide.

Laine, in a social media post of his own, replied to a video including the comment, saying, "This is just not okay."

Members of the podcast, the B&B Round Table, posted a video apologizing to Laine.

"While we appreciate the podcast's apology for their remarks, words have consequences," Octagon said. "Suicide is not a punchline. We remain steadfast in our condemnation of such language and continue to advocate for mental health awareness. Patrik's commitment to promoting mental well-being stands strong."

Laine had opened up about his mental health long before going into the assistance program last month.

"After careful consideration and discussion with my support network and the team, I have recognized the importance of prioritizing my mental health and well-being," Laine said on Instagram when entering the program. "Hockey has been my passion and my life, but I have come to realize that in order to perform at my best, I need to take this time to focus on myself."

Laine, a 25-year-old from Finland, hasn't played since breaking his left clavicle during a game in mid-December. Because of injury, he has been limited to 18 games and recorded six goals and three assists.

The second pick in the 2016 draft by Winnipeg, Laine is in his third full season with the Blue Jackets, who acquired him in a trade with the Jets in 2021. He has 212 goals and 191 assists in 504 career regular season and playoff games.

Laine is one of four players this season announced in the program by the NHL and NHLPA, along with Colorado's Samuel Girard and Valeri Nichushkin and Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.