Kukla's Korner Hockey
COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Columbus Blue Jackets have agreed to terms with center Ryan Johansen on a three-year contract, Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
“Ryan is an important member of the Blue Jackets family and we are pleased to have reached agreement on a contract with him through the 2016-17 season,” said Kekalainen. “We’ve always believed that Ryan has the chance to be a very special player and are confident that his continued growth and development will be an important part of our team’s success now and in the future.”
Jenner will be out for another month. Horton is out indefinitely. Johansen? Who knows? Given these verities and unknowns, it is advisable for Blue Jackets fans to temper their hopes for the foreseeable future. They have a competent, hard-working team to root for, and they have Sergei Bobrovsky, but they are not the power they can, and might yet be, and they are no longer a surprise.
-Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch where you can read more on this topic.
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner underwent surgery today on a broken hand and is expected to be sidelined approximately five weeks, Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced.
Jenner suffered the injury when he was struck by a puck in practice on Sunday. The surgery was performed by Dr. Gary Millard at OhioHealth’s Grant Medical Center.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Is Johansen ready to say, “I’m a Blue Jacket. The regular season starts in a week. My teammates need me. Do a deal.”?
Or, is Johansen hurt enough, and angry enough, to sit out until Dec. 1, at which point he must sign or miss the entire season?
Is he ready to turn his back on $3 million plus, on principle?
Such questions must be considered in a worst-case scenario.
Maybe Johansen caves and comes back out of shape and has an awful season. Or, maybe he demands a trade. Why play for a team that is stubborn enough to make an example out of its best offensive player? What star, or future star, would want to play for such a team?
The Blue Jackets are saying, “We’re adhering to small-market budget practices to ensure our long-term health. We have other centers. Joey can sign for whatever we put on the table or he can sit for as long as he wants, and we’re not trading him.”
Of course, none of this will have any impact on the team’s on-ice fortunes. The players don’t even talk about it in the locker room. Naaaah, of course they don’t.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Columbus Blue Jackets resumed negotiations with restricted free agent center Ryan Johansen on Monday and they were "very polite, well mannered," Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson said Tuesday after the NHL Board of Governors meeting.
Davidson said negotiations were expected to resume Tuesday between the Blue Jackets and Johansen's agent, Kurt Overhardt, but Davidson did not have an update because he was in meetings here. Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekelainen and assistant general manager Bill Zito were handling the negotiations from Columbus' side....
Asked Tuesday if the organization favors a shorter term deal at this point, Davidson said, "A deal would interest us.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
The hits keep on coming for the Blue Jackets, and the real games haven’t started yet.
Left wing Boone Jenner is expected to miss significant time because of a broken left hand, an injury suffered when he was struck by a puck on Sunday during practice. Jenner will have more tests this week to determine the severity of the break and how much time he will miss, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said.
The break is below his middle finger, likely the capitate, which can take six to eight weeks to heal.
Jenner’s absence means the Blue Jackets’ entire projected No. 1 forward line is out. Center Ryan Johansen is embroiled in a contract dispute with the club, missing his 12th day of camp today. Right wing Nathan Horton has skated since suffering a back injury while jogging this summer in Florida, but there is no timetable for his return. A source said he hasn’t seen any improvement.
“That’s why we have a second line, a third line and a fourth line,” Kekalainen said. “It’s an opportunity for some of our other guys now.”
from Shawn Mitchell of Puck Rakers,
Horton has yet to skate during this training camp because of what general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has called a “degenerative” back condition, albeit one, he has said, that generally plagues almost everyone who has played hockey.
Kekalainen today reiterated that Horton’s injury is one that the club believes can be remedied by a continued course of core strengthening. It is not clear when Horton might be able to resume hockey activities, and no one with knowledge of the injury has ventured to even guess at a timetable.
“Everybody is different, obviously, because there is pain involved and all kinds of things involved with that,” Kekalainen said. “I think Nathan Horton is probably more frustrated than anybody right now as far as trying to find a way to get stronger and get back to being able to play again.
“It’s about getting stronger and managing the pain by getting stronger in the core. Then your back gets stronger and the pain will go away. (He) is the only person that really knows where he is at and how much pain there is involved. It’s impossible for anybody else to know what he is going through right now. He is suffering.”
more for an injury update on Ryan Murray and more Blue Jackets news...
If things get really ugly, the relationship between Johansen and the Blue Jackets, which is strained at the moment, could become irreconcilable. And if it spills over into the season, chances are that nobody wins; and everybody loses.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail. Read more on this topic...
from Aaron Portzline of Puck Rakers,
This epic standoff between the Blue Jackets and center Ryan Johansen is bigger than any of the parties involved. It is bigger than Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson, bigger than GM Jarmo Kekalainen and bigger than assistant GM Bill Zito, who has done the club's bidding. It is bigger than Johansen and bigger than his agent, Kurt Overhart. It reaches beyond Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets truly believe they have the moral high ground in this fight, as if such a position exists between millionaire owners and millionaire athletes. The Blue Jackets are fighting for their own budget, of course, but they are also fighting on behalf of all other NHL clubs.
If the Blue Jackets gave in to Johansen's salary demands -- Overhardt first asked for $6.8 million per season for a two-year deal; now he's seeking $4.7 million per year -- a new standard would be set across the league, and the class of players with virtually no negotiating rights (RFAs coming out of entry-level deals) would have been given a new template from which future contracts would be based.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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