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What if the Blue Jackets and Johansen don’t reach a deal?

Aug 30, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

Ryan Johansen Getty Images

So what happens if the Columbus Blue Jackets and restricted free agent Ryan Johansen are unable to reach a deal prior to the start of training camp next month?

Columbus Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline asked this very question in is blog Saturday.

According to Portzline, the two sides had nothing new to report on contract negotiations as of Friday.

The Blue Jackets have reportedly offered the 22-year-old a two-year contract worth $7 million with a long-term deal to be negotiated in 2016. However, Johansen’s camp is looking for a deal worth a reported $7 million per season after the 6-foot-3, 223-pound center had a career year scoring 33 goals and 63 points in 2013-14.

For those wondering, the Blue Jackets currently have over $14 million in cap space to play with.

With neither side budging, Portzline suggests a number of available unrestricted free agents, who could be invited to Columbus’ camp.

Saku Koivu, Dustin Penner, Michal Handzus, Andrei Loktionov, David Steckel, Ryan Malone, Ville Leino, Colin Fraser, Daniel Carcillo and Ryan Carter, are among those without contracts.

Despite Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen saying a camp invite is unlikely, Portzline believes the Finnish connection makes Koivu the likely candidate.

As for the Johansen contract, one has to believe a short-term deal or bridge contract is likely. Other young players, who’ve signed short-term following a breakout season include Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri. On Friday, Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz agreed to a one-year deal hoping to cash in next summer.

If Subban is any indication, barring a major setback, Johansen will get paid what he’s worth once the bridge deal is complete. If Kekalainen can get the Johansen camp to agree, a short-term deal will protect the Jackets’ in the short-term, but could cost them in the long run.

Hopefully for Jackets’ fans, the two sides can come to terms prior to the start of the season in October at the latest.

  1. lowenni - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Okay, 7 mil is absurd after one good–not record breaking, good–year, and if Johansen feels “disrespected” because they don’t want to pay him more than guys like Nicklas Backstrom and John Tavares he does need to come off his high horse a bit. That being said, I think the blue jackets can offer a little more than 3.5 if he isn’t budging. They can do 5 per for a year or two if they’re looking to sign him to a bridge deal. I like this kid a lot but he’s being a little arrogant here–he doesn’t deserve to receive more than AT MOST 5.5 per year here.

    • edges23 - Aug 30, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      He’s only asking for 7 so that they can meet in the middle at the right price. If he asks for 5 to start with, he has to settle for ~4. Negotiation 101.

      • bsaures - Aug 30, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Its also negotiating 101 not to bargain with someone who overvalues something to a ridiculous amount

  2. philiver - Aug 30, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    “Portzline asked this very question in is blog Saturday”. Writing with a Yorkshire accent, I like it.

  3. c9castine - Aug 30, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Team like columbus could easily.benefit from a guy like handzus a been.there done that for the right price while.johansen sorts out his apparent ego issues. Prove it over 2 years for what is a lot of money and then the world is yours. Hold out and guaranteed to settle for less than youll prob get in future

  4. dutchman1350 - Aug 30, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    This is all a marketing ploy and will sign right before camp. Good for the CBJ…

  5. tross16 - Aug 30, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    How many 30 goal scorers where there this year? I don’t think he is over pricing himself here he just put up crazy numbers as a young player playing alone unproven players as well he deserves a huge pay raise

  6. 19inarow - Aug 31, 2014 at 12:25 AM

    Sorry to tell you this, Ryan, but you do not deserve to get paid more than John Tavares, the next two years. Get over yourself.

  7. rmccleary97 - Aug 31, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    Decent parallels between Johansen and Jaden Schwartz, ignoring that the Blues (stupidly) burned the 1st year of Jaden’s contract when he decided to leave Colorado College.

    — Both taken in the 2010 draft (Johansen 4th, Schwartz 14th).
    — Both had relatively lousy ’12-13 seasons (Johansen 5-7-12 in 40 games, Schwartz 7-6-13 in 45).
    — Both rebounded with really strong ’13-14 seasons (Johansen 33-30-63 in 82 games, Schwartz 25-31-56 in 80) in about 17:30 per game.
    — Both now sitting RFA and unsigned.

    The only difference is that the Blues have considerably less room to work with, which makes some kind of bridge deal more likely for Schwartz.

  8. anthj99 - Aug 31, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    Ville Leino is still available?

  9. cmhshark - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    Ryan Johansen is Canada’s version of Nickoli Zherdev.
    A player that has exhibited a a poor work ethic, has one good year
    And thinks he is Bobby Hull. Zherdev did the exact same thing, cried about having as many goals as Rick Nash in a contract year, MacXlellan caved and paid him, and Zherdev was a ghost thereafter, and a cancer to the CBJ morale.
    The only difference is Johansen speaks English, which Zherdev refused to learn.

    Johanson won’t sign a bridge because he’s lazy with no heart. CBJ fans aren’t morons….

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