Skip to content

Columbus trying to figure out ‘the right thing to do’ with Johansen

Jul 18, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

Ryan Johansen Getty Images

After negotiations for Ryan Johansen‘s new deal got off to a less-than-stellar start, Columbus president of hockey ops John Davidson took an interesting approach on Friday — discussing the situation publicly for the first time.

“Jarmo [Kekalainen, Columbus GM] is still working with Johansen’s camp. We’re a team that feels that if we have players that earn it, we will certainly respond with appropriate contracts,” Davidson explained, per the Columbus Dispatch. “We’re in a position here where we’re working with their camp, trying to figure out what exactly is the right thing to do.”

Johansen, 21, is coming off a monster breakout season in which he finished tied for 11th in the NHL in goals (33) and led the Jackets in points, with 63. He was a huge reason Columbus made the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history and performed well in his postseason debut, scoring six points in six games against Pittsburgh.

But that doesn’t mean Columbus is backing up the Brinks truck.

For all that Johansen did last year, it’s still just one year’s worth of work. And remember — this is a player who, at the end of the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, was benched by Columbus’ minor-league affiliate in Springfield due to lackadaisical play.

According to the Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline, rumors that Johansen wants a deal of four-plus years while Columbus wants a two-year bridge contract are probably accurate. That disparity in term is why Johansen was so irate following the opening round of negotiations:

“We’re not even close,” Johansen told The Dispatch. “They say ‘We want to sign you to a ‘bridge’ deal.’ We say ‘We don’t want to do a ‘bridge,’ and that’s the end of it.

“I’ve earned more than a two- or three-year deal with my play,” Johansen said. “It seems a little disrespectful, to be honest.”

Since an offer sheet seems highly unlikely — Kekalainen’s already said he’d match anything another team puts forth — it sounds as though we’re in for a good ol’ fashioned staring contest between Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, and Davidson.

“We like Ryan Johansen, obviously. Who wouldn’t? But we’ve got to make sure,” JD explained. “We have to be a responsible club regarding long-term contracts.

“If Ryan keeps the upward trend, he’s going to have a long and very fruitful career. But we have to make sure we protect ourselves.”

Latest Posts
  1. Ducks win crazy Game 5, push ‘Hawks to edge of elimination

    May 26, 2015, 12:21 AM EDT

    Beleskey goal

    Matt Beleskey scored the game winner after initially losing his second line spot.

  2. Shocked Ducks: Toews forces OT with two goals in final two minutes

    May 26, 2015, 12:03 AM EDT

    Toews goal

    Chicago was trailing for most of the game.

  3. Oilers prospect Draisaitl helps lead Kelowna over Rimouski in Memorial Cup

    May 25, 2015, 10:57 PM EDT

    Leon Draisaitl Getty Images

    Maple Leafs prospect Frederik Gauthier had a big game too.

  4. Video: Getzlaf ties Ducks’ playoff points record

    May 25, 2015, 10:11 PM EDT

    Vatanen goal

    The first period was all Anaheim.

  5. Video: Ducks score twice in 32 seconds early in first period

    May 25, 2015, 9:42 PM EDT

    Kesler goal

    The Ducks got off to an ideal start.

  6. Report: Andrei Kostitsyn interested in returning to NHL

    May 25, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    Belarus v Slovenia - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Getty Images

    He was linked to Nashville’s playoff curfew incident.

  7. Mrazek knows ‘only one goalie can play’ as battle with Howard awaits

    May 25, 2015, 5:43 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

    There’s going to be a fight for the No. 1 gig in Detroit.

  8. Graham James reportedly facing new charge of sexual assault

    May 25, 2015, 4:41 PM EDT

    Graham James AP

    Reports out of Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

  9. In the playoffs, sometimes it comes down to the ‘bounces’

    May 25, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

    Antoine Vermette, Frederik Andersen AP

    “One bounce here or there, it’s a different story.”

  10. Leafs sign Carrick to one-year extension

    May 25, 2015, 2:10 PM EDT

    J.T. Brown; Sam Carrick J.T. Brown; Sam Carrick

    Made his NHL debut last season, appearing in 16 games.

  11. Now feels like a good time to debate Stamkos’ next contract

    May 25, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Five Getty Images

    He’s eligible to sign an extension this summer.

  12. Swiss league ‘perfect training ground’ for Matthews, says coach Crawford

    May 25, 2015, 12:54 PM EDT

    Marc Crawford Getty Images

    “Everyone involved with the ZSC Lions is so excited about seeing him play in Zurich.”

  13. Canucks have a puzzle to solve on the blue line

    May 25, 2015, 12:44 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    This won’t quell the Kevin Bieksa trade speculation.

  14. Bolts ‘looking for a guy who plays my way,’ says prospect Erne

    May 25, 2015, 12:31 PM EDT

    Adam Erne Getty Images

    “A bigger guy, playing a power forward role.”

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Nash (1362)
  2. N. Horton (1307)
  3. C. Crawford (1261)
  4. F. Andersen (1237)
  5. E. Cole (1154)