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$$$ Deadlock -Columbus vs. Johansen



blog-0412886001410400893.pngEvery top notch NHL team has a solid first line center. They are very, very hard to come by. So what is one worth?

That is the question that Columbus must figure out. Restricted free agent Ryan Johansen and the Columbus Blue Jackets are at a stalemate that might not get solved before the puck drops on a new season.

Johansen has completed three NHL seasons of play. The strong, young NHL forward has posted 96 points in 189 games played over three seasons. Last year was his breakout year where he posted 33 goals, 30 assists in 82 games. A great season, but in his first two he only posted 33 points in 107 games. Is one good season of hockey worth the $6.5 million dollars a year that he is asking?

The Blue Jackets do not think so. They have reportedly offered him $3.5 million dollars a year for two years.

Both sides have agreed on the two-year (bridge contract) term. The sticky point is that they are 3 million dollars apart. That is a long way to be apart with only one week before training camp opens.

So what happens next??

It was reported yesterday that Columbus general manger Jarmo Kekalainen commented on NHL Radio that he was doing everything in his power to get Johansen signed, but he had to follow protocol. He was concerned about Johansen’s asking price after only one solid year of play. He did say that he was an intrical part of the team, and really wanted to get him signed quickly. He also commented that he had to sign him to a uniform contract that was equal to other players at that level and age. He admitted that he did not want to put other NHL general mangers in a tough position by over paying Johansen.

Now I understand that he does not want to raise the standard price of a player of this level, but Kekalainen cannot hold back because he is worried about other teams. He has to worry about Columbus. If Columbus does not win he is out of a job. Its time to take care of Columbus. That’s all! I also understand that driving up contracts will in turn come around and affect the Blue Jackets, but the focus must be on locking up young talent now.

It is critical that Johansen is signed by the Blue Jackets soon. I think that Johansen’s asking price is way out of whack, but I also understand the impact he can and will have on this team. A deal that works for both sides must get done. The Blue Jackets need to solidify their young center for the future success of the team. In return Johansen needs to continue to improve and prove his worth, for more than one year.

— I look for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen to agree to a two-year $4.0 million dollar contract. Then the ball is in Johansen’s hand. If he produces he will get his huge payday in two years.

* photo by Getty Images


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I think they will need to agree to something over $4M.  This is your star player here. Sign the bridge contract and then ask for Subban money next season.  - Geez can't Davidson see the writing on the wall?  


btw, your link to your website isn't working for me.

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I really like the player and would give him 5m on a bridge contract. If we did not already trade hartnell AND have a plethora of centers, I would say trade Hartnell for him. 


He is 22 y/o, big, strong, and fast. He will be a ppg player. I understand not overpaying, but also don't piss the guy off. 5m is what he is worth. 70 pt player, 20 minutes a night and +50 on the faceoff dot. 


If the Flyers did not have a barrel full of centers, I would give him an offer sheet. I think he is that good. 

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