Laine to the rescue: Jets star distracts frightened kids on plane

PATRIK LAINE makes fans everywhere he goes.

The Winnipeg Jets forward apparently helped calm some kids Monday night who were frightened by a drunken passenger causing a disturbance aboard a flight from Malaga, Spain, to Helsinki.

According to Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, the flight had to make an unscheduled stop in Paris, where police handcuffed an unruly man and carted him off the plane.

Another passenger told a reporter several kids were upset by the incident. But Laine, also aboard the flight, lightened the mood by talking to them, signing autographs and posing for pictures. He spent time with each child, helping them relax, the passenger said.

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PATRIK LAINE makes fans everywhere he goes.

The Winnipeg Jets forward apparently helped calm some kids Monday night who were frightened by a drunken passenger causing a disturbance aboard a flight from Malaga, Spain, to Helsinki.

According to Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, the flight had to make an unscheduled stop in Paris, where police handcuffed an unruly man and carted him off the plane.

Another passenger told a reporter several kids were upset by the incident. But Laine, also aboard the flight, lightened the mood by talking to them, signing autographs and posing for pictures. He spent time with each child, helping them relax, the passenger said.

The 20-year-old winger even had a playful exchange with one of the young travellers who was wearing a ball cap bearing the logo of the Nashville Predators, the Jets’ arch-rivals.

The passenger said he believes Laine was on a golf trip in Spain and was returning home to Finland.

The legend of Laine keeps growing. During his rookie season, the young Finn — recovering from a concussion at the time — took time out for a surprise visit to a Winnipeg boy celebrating his birthday. Last winter, he thrilled a bantam hockey squad when he dropped by Valley Gardens Community Centre on a chilly November night to play some ball hockey.

Laine has played a pair of NHL seasons since being drafted by Winnipeg in 2016. He’s fired 80 goals and chipped in 54 assists in 155 games. During the Jets’ exciting spring playoff run, he scored five goals and added seven assists in 17 games.

He has one year left on his three-year entry-level deal and will command a huge pay increase ahead of the 2019-20 season. The Jets are eligible now to extend him to a long-term contract.