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Report: Negotiations remain ‘chilly’ between Columbus, Johansen

Aug 18, 2014, 11:03 PM EDT

Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five Getty Images

Most of the headlines regarding the Columbus Blue Jackets paint a rosy picture, but it sounds like the team has some work to do before retaining important restricted free agent Ryan Johansen. The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline describes the negotiations as “chilly as ever.”

Portzline seemingly implies that both sides believe that they have more leverage than maybe they really do.

Really, though, it’s understandable that both sides are at an impasse. The 22-year-old exploded in 2013-14, scoring more goals (33) and points (63) this past season than he had in 2011-12 and 2012-13 combined. His shooting percentage wasn’t outrageously high, either, at 13.9. (That might go down a bit, but it’s not like one out of every five shots resulted in a goal.)

One assumes that Johansen’s side believes he should be paid like a guy who will score 30 goals every season in a long-term deal while the Blue Jackets want him to prove that he can be that kind of scorer for a few more years before they break the bank.

Both parties would probably admit that Johansen missing time – especially regular season games – isn’t ideal, but we’ve seen that happen before. Of course, there have been plenty of instances in which seemingly ugly negotiations end in back-slaps, handshakes and smiles in the matter of a night.

We’ll just have to see how this goes, but so far it sounds like things are moving along slowly.

(H/T to the Score.)

  1. lowenni - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    Sign himmmmmm. They don’t make the playoffs last year without this guy. Big, skilled, smart. They may not want to pony up right now but they’re probably gonna have to…if I was Calgary or buffalo I wouldn’t have any hesitation offersheeting this kid.

    • rbbbaron - Aug 19, 2014 at 7:02 AM

      You’d be happy to forfeit your chance of landing McDavid/Eichel + other picks in a deep draft to lock Johansen in a long-term deal @ 5-6.7mil per yr? Yeah Buffalo also has the Islanders’ pick next year, but the Isles look closer to making the playoffs this season than finishing below Buffalo…

  2. hockey412 - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    If I’m a GM, it would be so hard not to file for arbitration for any player of Johansen’s talent level, just to avoid this situation. I wonder why they didn’t. It’s not a bridge contract, but good for a year or two. I know there’s some feeling like you are screwing the player by filing (which I don’t get), but this isn’t any better.

  3. 2qswing - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    I don’t know how you guys feel but I wish the season would start tomorrow. These are the dog days for nhl fans

    • hockey412 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:54 AM


  4. wearethe5thline - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    I would do many things just to get this kid signed to a deal ASAP

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