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Both Sides Are Right In The Ryan Johansen Contract Negotiations

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.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johansen



The Blue Jackets have pushed it to the point where they risk alienating their best offensive player and damaging their team. Is it worth it?

An excerpt from further into the article. I think absolutely it is worth it for the jackets to alienate Johansen if this is the way he’s going to let his agent play it. The last thing the Jackets can afford is to let one of their young players “reset the market” as Arace says a couple times. If they gave Johansen 7M per, all the other young guys, when they sign are going to want 4-6M per and the Jackets are going to be at the top of the salary list with half a team. They can’t afford to let things run that way. They would be better off to sign and trade him and let some other team deal with the headache that is Overhardt than to destroy their roster in three years.


Posted by teldar on 09/23/14 at 08:56 AM ET


I just don’t get it. I know I’ve posted before on this topic but am I missing something here? I mean, is Johansen trying to save up cash for WW3? What is the difference between 5mil per and 6mil per? Or 4 mil per? YOU ARE 22 you LITTLE BIT*CH!!! Just settle in the middle so you can play hockey, that IS THE reason you are in the NHL right? You DO enjoy playing it? Or you just want the money? There are NUMEROUS players who take HUGE contracts and then fail and no one wants them. I don’t blame the BJ’s. They made reasonable offers. If I was them I’d say, look. here’s 5mil for 2 years. If you don’t want that then go find a new home and maybe someone else will sign you to an offer sheet. Little bitch.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 09/23/14 at 09:25 AM ET


I think absolutely it is worth it for the jackets to alienate Johansen if this is the way he’s going to let his agent play it.

But is it worth getting Johansen under a “good deal” if you become known as the team that’s going to play hardball with its best players?

What is the difference between 5mil per and 6mil per? Or 4 mil per?

Well, they’re unwilling to budge from $3M per on a two year deal, so maybe the question is “what is the difference between 6 mil per year and 3 mil per year”.

The answer to that one is pretty self evident.

Just settle in the middle

How, exactly, do you expect him to settle in the middle when the Jackets have repeatedly said they’re standing firm on their two-year, $3M per year offer?

I don’t blame the BJ’s. They made reasonable offers.

They lowballed him on a bridge deal and they gave him less than he was asking for on a long-term deal.

Yes, Johansen has had one good year, but look at the comparables.  Tomas Tatar has been in the league for one year and scored 19 goals.  He’s getting $2.75M.  Johansen had a breakout year and led his team in scoring last year, scoring 14 more goals than Tatar.  $3M a year is reasonable for that?

We can all agree that Johansen is asking too much, but why are people pretending that $3M a year for two years is a reasonable offer?

BOTH sides are being unreasonable.

Posted by Garth on 09/23/14 at 09:39 AM ET


He’s still a bitch

Posted by Pasha1277 on 09/23/14 at 10:00 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I know, how terrible of Johansen to ask for more money if he’s going to be stuck playing for a glorified AHL org in stead of a real, actual NHL org.

BOTH sides are being unreasonable.

Posted by Garth on 09/23/14 at 09:39 AM ET

The difference is Johansen can, Columbus cannot.

If push comes to shove. Johansen WILL get a job somewhere else.
If push comes to shove, it’s a further black eye for a Columbus org that players already didn’t want to play for, for a variety of reasons.

Columbus is the one with everything to lose, right on down to them literally losing the team to another market.

Posted by Primis on 09/23/14 at 10:40 AM ET


I agree, both sides are being unreasonable. If the Jackets don’t want to go above $3M, they should just trade his rights NOW. If Johansen really wants $5M+, go to the KHL.

Johansen has come down quite a bit from his initial ridiculous requests. What have the BJ’s done? Nothing!

There are times when a team needs to look at the bigger picture. I understand how they worry about setting the tone for other players. However, they are using their RFA leverage a little too strong in this case. The reality is that if they want to be a mid-cap team they’ll have to let some players go. Is he really the one they want to part with. If not, pay him the market price and that’s MORE than $3M (remember, salary cap is rising) and be prepared to lose another player down the road.


Posted by evileye on 09/23/14 at 10:45 AM ET


The main reason he hasn’t gotten an offer sheets is there are two types of teams that usually make the offer sheet, teams like the Flyers or Rangers but they are at the cap limit and teams like Calgary and Edmonton but they don’t want to risk losing a lottery pick in a draft year with McDavid & Eichel. This year is an anomaly for offer sheets.

Posted by Puckbubba on 09/23/14 at 11:51 AM ET


Offer sheets are pretty rare anyway. The compensation is almost always too high to merit giving one and the team that holds the rights is often willing to match any offers.

Posted by evileye on 09/24/14 at 02:47 PM ET

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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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