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Jackets GM says they’ll ‘match any offer’ for RFA Johansen

Jun 12, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT

Ryan Johansen Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen had a breakout season scoring 33 goals with 63 points. This summer he’s a restricted free agent and that means teams might pitch an offer sheet in the direction of the 21-year-old.

Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen wants other GMs to know they’re making a mistake if they do that as Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch shared.

“If he signs an offer sheet, he signs an offer sheet,” Kekalainen said. “Our ownership is strong, and as I said before, we would match any offer he could possibly sign. If somebody wants to waste their time and effort on that, that’s fine for them. We’d just match it and keep the player.”

It’s not uncommon for a general manager to threaten doom when it comes to their RFAs. As it is he’s never been worried about keeping Johansen, but it makes plenty of sense for Kekalainen to warn others away.

The Jackets have been grooming Johansen patiently and the time they put in paid off in a big way this season. After all, Johansen was the team’s first-round pick (fourth overall) in 2010. Watching him become the main man on the team this year is what they’ve been waiting for. They’ll do whatever it takes to keep him in a Columbus sweater.

  1. skr213 - Jun 12, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    What a dumb ass. If I was a GM in their division, I would now make an absurd offer and force Columbus to match it, thereby taking up as much of their salary budget as possible. Negotiation 101 apparently was not on his course list.

    • areaman714 - Jun 12, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Not really. There is the matter of compensation for signing a RFA. This is a table for 2013/14:
      Amount Compensation Due
      $1,110,249 or below None
      Over $1,110,249 to $1,682,100 . . . 3rd round pick
      Over $1,682,194 to $3,364,392 . . . 2nd round pick
      Over $3,364,391 to $5,046,585 . . . 1st and 3rd round pick
      Over $5,046,585 to $6,728,781 . . . 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick
      Over $6,728,781 To $8,410,976 . . .Two 1st’s, one 2nd, one 3rd round pick
      Over $8,410,976 . . . Four 1st round picks

      http://www.puckmeplease.com/restricted-free-agent-offer-sheets/

      • flyboystransport - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        That all depends on how columbus tenders their offer sheet.

    • elvispocomo - Jun 12, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      If you’re a team in the bottom half of the draft order, you probably don’t have the cap to make an absurd offer. If you’re a team in the top half, then you’d risk CBJ calling your bluff and taking 2-4 firsts, since they would match in the still high but more reasonable $5-6M range. Then there’s the fact that you have to have all your own picks available as compensation if CBJ doesn’t match, so you can’t just throw out an offer like $8.5M for one year if you’ve traded any of your 1st rounders in the next four drafts.

      • skr213 - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        They don’t have to “make the cap” right now, so they’re free to make all kinds of “offers” that they know won’t happen.

      • dueman - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:05 PM

        Dude, just because they said they would match any offer, doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee that they actually will! So if you as a GM threw out an absurd offer for him, and he signed it, but Tampa then decided not to match it…you then, would get the player, but at an absurd amount of money. You now, would be the one that has screwed your cap situation, and would also in turn lose 4, or whatever the amount would be, 1st round draft pics……Who’s the dumb ass now?

    • 19to77 - Jun 12, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      And forever after be the black sheep who no-one trades with because you broke the fragile truce the GMs have on not screwing each other with offer sheets. They all know they COULD. But they also know it would just s–t up the game. They don’t throw offer sheets around unless they’re actually trying to sign the player – if so, fair enough, but if you’re just trying to ruin the game through cap manipulation, piss off. Stock trading would probably appeal more than sports.

  2. areaman714 - Jun 12, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    A west coast team can sign with the contract stipulating that his home games will start no earlier than ten o’clock eastern time. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

  3. canucks30 - Jun 12, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    What if it’s 10 years, $150 Million and you get 5 first round draft picks as compensation?

    Too bad Paul Holmgren is no longer an NHL GM. Although, with Garth Snow…

    • flyboystransport - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      You’re comparing him to a Norris trophy candidate?

  4. tross16 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    I feel like Columbus is scared that he won’t return, there is no need to make a comment like this about his rfa status unless they were worried. I would throw his a huge offer, te kids gonna be one of the best players in the league next year I like his size and skill and his speed he was also impressive in the playoffs.

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