Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/30/14 at 10:45 AM ET
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
At this point, it seems highly unlikely Johansen will be on the ice at the start of training camp. Overhardt will use that as leverage, as he has many, many times with clients in the last decade, including Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky in 2009 when he played for the New York Rangers.
The Blue Jackets, thus, must be prepared to play without Johansen in the lineup. They've already had discussions to that end.
There are numerous NHL free agents out there who will be heading to NHL camps under tryout agreements if they don't sign contracts. Saku Koivu, Dustin Penner, Michal Handzus, Andrei Loktionov, David Steckel, Ryan Malone, Ville Leino, Colin Fraser, Daniel Carcillo, Ryan Carter, and others are all still on the UFA market.
As of Friday, Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said a camp tryout agreement with a player is unlikely, especially early in camp. (Koivu, huh?) The Blue Jackets have so many young player in-house, and they want to see how they've progressed. But stay tuned. (Keep your phone on, Saku.)
Another possibility, should Johansen not be part of the team, is that Boone Jenner could be moved back to center, the position he played throughout his youth and most of his junior career. That's not ideal, as the Blue Jackets love Jenner's presence in their top six, but it's a possible remedy.
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