Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from the Courthouse News Service,
NHL star Jack Johnson III sued his business manager and real estate broker, claiming they duped his mother into taking out loans that used his $30 million player contract as security.
Johnson sued National Mortgage Resources (NMR), its owner Steve Miller, and CYA Sports Management on Monday in Superior Court....
"This case arises from a course of egregious, unethical and wrongful conduct by defendant CYA, who served as Johnson's business manager, and defendant NMR and its principal, defendant Miller, who acted as real estate broker and co-lender in a systematic, deliberate and predatory lending scheme - both individually and collaboratively - to line their own pockets the expense of Johnson," the 33-page complaint states.
Johnson claims that Miller "preyed" upon him and his mother when Miller found out they had little experience in financial planning.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Ryan Johansen is a star-quality player. He is, as his agent is wont to say, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound No. 1 center. Last season, Johansen had more goals (33) than all but three other centers (Joe Pavelski, Tyler Seguin and Sidney Crosby). He had more points than all but 16 other centers. He is defensively responsible and physically intimidating. He is a rare player, already, at age 22.
Essentially, this is the case being made by Johansen and his militant agent, Kurt Overhardt. If Johansen accepts a contract worth $3 million a year, it would represent 4.3 percent of a $69 million team payroll. They argue that he is more than 4.3 percent of the Blue Jackets.
And they are right.
The Blue Jackets are holding the collective bargaining agreement above their heads and saying that Johansen, as a restricted free agent with no arbitration rights, has no leverage. They are referencing Johansen’s body of work over his first three seasons — and his pedestrian, Derek Brassard-like numbers over that span — and they are saying, “Prove yourself in the short term and there is a blank check waiting for you long-term. That is the system.”
And they are right.
Rock, meet hard place, and add pressure.
via Pierre LeBrun tweets,
Ryan Johansen's agent Kurt Overhardt says his client has got "several offers" from KHL clubs over past 2 months. But focus remains...
trying to get a deal done with the Blue Jackets
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Speaking with the group of current and former GMs, a couple of themes emerged:
• They were unanimously on board with the Blue Jackets offers to Johansen and all agreed they were more than fair. For the record, the Blue Jackets have offered deals of $6 million for two years, $32 million for six years and $46 million for eight years.
• While the majority felt the Jackets tactic of going public runs counter to their style, they could certainly understand Davidson’s and Kekalainen’s frustrations.
• None of them would trade Johansen.
While most of them said the public flogging of Overhardt, in particular, is counterintuitive to their negotiation style, they acknowledged their might be some behind-the-scenes dynamics of which only they know. And they all sympathized with the Blue Jackets. All GMs spoke to thn.com on the condition of anonymity.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Yes, the sides remain miles apart. The bigger problem is neither side is budging — they are not even talking — and the deal is there to be made, somewhere in-between.
The Blue Jackets do not like hearing that because they have all the leverage. Overhardt does not like hearing that, but, then, he does not hear anything, and he has a history of steering his clients out of training camp.
Two years, $9.8 million, play hockey. It would require the Jackets to ease up on precedent and acknowledge that Johansen is a budding star, but it would not go so far as to set an onerous precedent for second contracts. It would require Overhardt to do what is best for his client. But it can be done.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com