Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/04/14 at 10:57 AM ET
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
... Kekalainen’s biggest task this summer will be dealing with the several players who need new contracts.
Johansen’s contact will be interesting to follow. At this time last year, he was a healthy scratch in an American Hockey League playoff game. But after two quiet NHL seasons, Johansen tied for 11th in the league with 33 goals, ahead of such stars as Ryan Getzlaf, Marian Hossa, Anze Kopitar, Claude Giroux and Jonathan Toews.
The Blue Jackets would prefer a three-year contract, one that would expire when Johansen can only become a restricted free agent. But there is risk in waiting too long to sign a deal this summer.
As a restricted free agent, Johansen could sign an offer sheet with any NHL team if he’s not signed by July 1. The Blue Jackets could match the offer and keep Johansen, but it’s an expensive and risky way of doing business.
And Johansen — much like Bobrovsky last summer — seems a ripe candidate for an offer sheet, given his age, skill and position.
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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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