Kukla's Korner Hockey
"This is a team that I think now is being recognized not just as a team that is young and up-and-coming, it's a pretty good hockey club. We have a chance here to make a real good statement with this upcoming season," Davidson told the Blue Jackets' website. "I like this hockey club. I like it a lot. I like its character, I like the way it plays, I like the intestinal fortitude it has, I like how it sticks up for each other. I like all aspects of it. We have a chance to be a very good club."
-John Davidson, President of Hockey Operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets. More, including video at NHL.com.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
Question: Brandon, can you speak to what the almost two years have been like since you were traded here, in terms of what you thought you were getting yourself into vs. how this has turned out?
Answer: When I first got traded here, I tried to come in here with an open mind. We made some other moves (that summer under former GM Scott Howson) that I thought made this team better. I just firmly believed our team was better than they’d performed a year prior. I didn’t come in here thinking I was going to the worst team in the league. I came in with an open mind and a great attitude and I found out we had a great group of guys who are willing to play hard for each other. We started building really from the day I got here to where we are now.
Q: You're in a position now that's new to you in the NHL, where you're a leader on this club and a big part of the foundation. Obviously you're a player they want to be part of this organization for a long time. What's that say to you?
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Brandon Dubinsky to a six-year contract extension through the 2020-21 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, further terms were not disclosed.
Dubinsky, 28, has registered 99 goals and 184 assists for 283 points with 631 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +31 in 498 career NHL games, including 18-52-70, 174 PIM and a +7 plus/minus rating in 105 games during the past two seasons with the Blue Jackets. He has also tallied 8-15-23 and 52 PIM in 37 career postseason games after leading Columbus in assists and tying for second in points with 1-5-6 and six PIM in six games during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“Brandon brings tenacity and determination to our team every time he takes the ice and he’s been an integral part of our growth and success over the past two years,” said Kekalainen. “Thanks to the commitment and support of our ownership group, we are excited that Brandon will continue to be an important part of the Blue Jackets family for many years to come.”
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Last weekend, Ryan Johansen told The Dispatch that the Blue Jackets’ offer of a bridge contract was a “slap in the face.” Let us think on this.
A bridge contract is a short-term deal designed to set up a lucrative, long-term deal down the road. Johansen is 21. He will be eligible for unrestricted free agency when he is 26. If he signs a two-year bridge contract, he can pump up his resume and use the specter of looming, unrestricted free agency as leverage in 2016.
A slap in the face is when someone opens his or her hand and uses said hand to swiftly smack the cheek of a surprised victim.
Ah, contract negotiations. They are a hoot.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
Now that negotiations between the Blue Jackets and their leading scorer, Ryan Johansen, have dragged into July, the 21-year-old center is free to negotiate with all 30 NHL teams.
That sounds terribly risky for the Blue Jackets, and nothing worries fans or agitates general managers more than the thought of a budding star — a player they drafted and developed — signing an offer sheet with another team as a restricted free agent. Johansen had 33 goals and 30 assists last season.
But here’s the reality: Offer sheets are rare, and they are rarely successful at poaching another team’s player.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
Ryan Johansen spent the past two days camping near his home in British Columbia, and the Blue Jackets spent the past two days adding a new wave of talent to the organization at the NHL draft.
But these are not peaceful, happy times for either party.
Contract negotiations between the Blue Jackets and their top offensive player are going nowhere, even after a meeting this weekend in Philadelphia between Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, and assistant general manager Bill Zito.
The road block to further negotiations appears to be the term.
“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.”
The Blue Jackets want to sign Johansen to a two- or three-year contract, which would expire when he still was a restricted free agent.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The move will make the Flyers worse in 2014-15. The 32-year-old Hartnell, once the top-line running mate for Claude Giroux, could fill the same role for franchise center Ryan Johansen. If ex-Bruin Nathan Horton gets healthy, the three strongmen could join forces to create a mammoth No. 1 line for the Blue Jackets.
“I think he plays exactly the way we want the Blue Jackets to play,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a news conference following the trade. “He’s hard to play against. When you talk about him as an opponent — you talk to a lot of different sources around the league, people that I know and people he’s been associated with — they all say the same thing: You hate to play against him, but you’d love to have him on your team. That’s the way we feel about him. He was a tough opponent. Somebody you always noticed and somebody you hated from the press box, but you always thought you’d like to have him on your team.”
When power forwards such as Hartnell are in their groove, they are game-changers. They strike fear in defensemen who panic about black eyes and broken noses when they retreat for a puck. Their brawn allows their team to cycle the puck low, tire opponents, and rack up scoring chances. They make their linemates braver.
There is a reason Milan Lucic scored a $6 million annual payday when his previous contract expired. It’s the same reason Horton, Lucic’s former partner in crime, landed a seven-year, $37.1 million blockbuster last summer. And it’s the same reason David Clarkson swiped a seven-year, $36.75 million bonanza from the Maple Leafs.
It’s a case of supply and demand. There are very few players who can skate, score, hit, and fight. There are even fewer who can fulfill those tasks as the odometer reaches higher numbers.
read on plus other hockey topics...
First off, I am ok, just need to make some life adjustment and fairly quickly too.
But this is not about me so on with some news and sorry for the delay..
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Ryan Callahan to a six-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
"We are pleased to announce that we've reached an agreement on a six-year contract extension with Ryan,” Yzerman said. “He's proven to be a fierce competitor and outstanding leader who fits very well with our team."
“I couldn’t be happier to be part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the next six years and I am excited for this new chapter of my career,” Callahan said. “Tampa Bay has been a great place to live and play from the day I got there. As soon as the season ended I knew it was a place I wanted to be.”
more news below...
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets traded disgruntled winger R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round draft pick to Philadelphia yesterday for Scott Hartnell. There is nothing small about this deal.
It was done within the Metropolitan Division, which took a lot of nerve on the part of Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and his Flyers counterpart, Ron Hextall. It involved former first-round picks with recognizable names and healthy contracts. This was big-boy stuff.
Kekalainen deserves high marks.
First off, he found a buyer for Umberger, which was no small feat.
Umberger had asked to be traded. Everyone knew it. If a buyer could not be found, there was a very real possibility that Umberger would have to be bought out — which is both expensive and counterproductive. Buyouts are bad business.
Below, watch Flyers GM Ron Hextall discuss the trade...
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Columbus is a hockey city now and the Jackets are an organization being viewed in a completely different light around the NHL. The enthusiasm was undeniable during their recent playoff run, when fans turned Nationwide Arena into the loudest building this side of the Bell Centre for a first-round series with Pittsburgh.
Remember that this is a team with just two playoff wins to show for its first 14 years in the league — both of them coming in April. To label the Jackets’ existence a test of patience would be an understatement.
However, they’ve also shown themselves to be survivors. They overcame the Carter fiasco and the subsequent departure of captain Rick Nash and were transformed into a team on the rise in relatively short order.
With Kekalainen now running the show along with president John Davidson, there is promise throughout a lineup that was once more of a punchline. In goal you have Sergei Bobrovsky, a Vezina Trophy winner not yet in his prime. There is centre Ryan Johansen, a 33-goal man at age 21, and future stalwart defenceman Ryan Murray and a roster full of underrated contributors.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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