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Columnist cautions against holdout for Blue Jackets’ Johansen

Aug 23, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

It’s probably a bit early to get too worried about Ryan Johansen‘s unsettled contract status with the Columbus Blue Jackets – even with some vague offer sheet talk floating around – but the Columbus Dispatch’s Michael Arace warns both sides that failing to get something done by training camp could leave everyone losing out.

He mainly argues it wouldn’t be a good idea for the 22-year-old forward, in particular, though:

If Johansen is turning down a reasonable offer and sitting during training camp, he will be doing himself, his teammates and their fans a disservice. The Blue Jackets will begin preparations with a hole on their top line. Their growth, and Johansen’s, will be stunted. Slow starts have hurt the Jackets in recent years. Do they want the brakes on in September this year?

Arace makes an interesting point, especially since Johansen’s 2013-14 production towers over his previous output in such a way that the Blue Jackets probably want to do everything they can to avoid a disruption.

Here’s the thing, though: NHL training camps are pretty brief and there’s evidence that missing some time doesn’t really hurt players … at least if they’re actually legitimately good.

P.K. Subban might be the best example of that. Things seemed to get a little heated with the Montreal Canadiens regarding his second-most-recent contract, yet he came back and won the 2013 Norris Trophy. It’s not as if Johansen has a host of new teammates to become acquainted with either, as Columbus didn’t exactly experience a lot of turnover this summer.

Instead, the bigger worries might revolve around the sides negotiating. The other “holdout” example that comes to mind is the Colorado Avalanche’s situation with Ryan O’Reilly; sure, that is settled for now … but it almost feels like a divorce is inevitable there.

In other words, as “chilly” as things might be between Johansen’s representatives and the Blue Jackets, the key is to indeed avoid making things personal.

  1. succulentnipples - Aug 23, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Use caution around Big John Football.

  2. wearethe5thline - Aug 23, 2014 at 9:42 PM


  3. blomfeld - Aug 24, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    “Could that stunt the 22-year-old’s growth?” …

    No ! … I don’t think that will happen ! :)

  4. mackattack29 - Aug 24, 2014 at 6:35 AM

    I’ve said it a hundred times. It’s agents today… they’re more and more bloodthirsty every time they see a big contract get signed. Toews and Kane, Subban, all the way down to deals like Clarkson’s and Orpik’s. These young kids whom most don’t even go to college, get swept up into the finances of the sport and don’t really understand entirely what’s going on and their agent takes advantage of both the player and the organization. It’s an epidemic that is growing and growing and even tho it may seem like there’s no negative for the players in this as they are getting the most amount of money possible. But I can speak as an Avs fan, O’Reilly’s reputation has taken a HUGE hit and that stuff matters down the line in a player’s career and also it matters if a player wants to leave a somewhat good legacy after his career is done. I just think that these agents (and to some extent players as well) are getting more and more sickeningly greedy and it needs to stop for the sake of there not being another lock out due to outrageous contracts…

  5. clpalermo94 - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    I agree with the last line. The last thing clb wants to do is piss off johansen moving forward. I cant blame him for wanting what he feels he is worth. Wouldnt anyone else do the same? I know i would.

    • stakex - Aug 24, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      That problem is just because he feels he’s worth something…. doesn’t mean he actually is. I mean I don’t blame Columbus for not wanting to dish out huge money to a guy with just one good season under his belt. Don’t forget that his first two NHL seasons were quite forgettable, and while last year might well have been a breakout year…. it could also have been a fluke.

      If Johansen has confidence in himself he should take a fair bridge deal (something even a guy like Subban has done in recent years), prove it wasn’t a fluke, and cash in two years from now.

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