Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/23/14 at 06:57 AM ET
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Johansen’s side argues that he is one of the top dozen centers in the NHL. They claim leverage in the fact that they can solicit an offer sheet from another team.
The Jackets argue that Johansen has had one good season out of three, and the kid still has something to prove on a lot of fronts, including the motivational front. They claim leverage in the fact that Johansen has no arbitration rights. They say they will match an offer sheet if one happens to appear.
Johansen has every right to ask for whatever he can get, but I do not think he has the better argument here. It is true that he is coming off a sterling season (33 goals and 30 assists in 82 games). Yet, it is also true that his three-year totals (47 goals and 49 assists in 189 games) are, in terms of points per game, about the same that Derick Brassard had when his rookie contract expired.
Johansen is asking for Jonathan Toews money, and he has not earned it. Not yet. Can he ask for it? Sure, he can. I hope he squeezes every penny he can out of his next contract. But if this pursuit causes him to miss one day of training camp, then he will be acting selfishly.
We have all heard players say “it’s just business” when it comes to contract negotiations. Business changes, though, when it’s time to go to work.
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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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