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LeBrun: Eyes of the hockey world are fixed upon the spat between Ryan Johansen and Blue Jackets

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's returned from his summer vacation, and LeBrun suggests that the juiciest story of early September involves the contract impasse between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen:

Two sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com on Tuesday there’s been next to no dialogue for a while as both sides remain more than $3 million apart per season on a proposed two-year contract.
That’s a sizable gap to be sure.

The sense is that the Johansen camp is willing to go longer on term but the team at this point is more fixated on a two-year bridge deal.

There are different layers to this squabble. From 10,000 feet above, there’s the baggage that this organization carries and the danger of alienating a core fan base that has been so, so patient through all the down years. An ugly fight with perhaps the young star most popular with the fan base is not the kind of thing you want when you consider the history here with Rick Nash, etc.

LeBrun continues, offering an assessment of the "salary ask"...

The nuts and bolts: It’s believed the Johansen camp, led by veteran agent Kurt Overhardt, wants the 22-year-old paid like some of the higher-end, young centers in the league (I’m guessing north of $6 million a year) and why not after a 33-goal campaign. Not to mention the drop-off at center on this team if Johansen isn’t playing. There’s leverage there for the player to be sure.

And LeBrun concludes by suggesting that the Blue Jackets will try to work out a PK Subban-style "bridge deal," though he's not sure whether that will happen before training camps kick off late next week.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, ryan+johansen


dreamsofhope's avatar

I understand that this specific contract negotiation is for a center and not a left wing, but I don’t understand why both sides wouldn’t use Jamie Benn as a comparable when looking at a young players contract value. Age and position are different, I understand but this situation seems very similar to what Dallas and Benn went through a few years ago.

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 09/02/14 at 03:59 PM ET

Primis's avatar

“North of $6 million”.


This is a guy whose goalscoring for his 3 NHL seasons is as follows:

67GP, 9G.
40 GP, 5G
82 GP, 33 G.

I left out his Assists because they’re irrelevant, since they are both unimpressive and CBS needs him for goal scoring, not setting someone else up.

He topped out at 40G and 92 Pts in junior.

Have.  Fun.  With.  That.  I think Columbus is a sorry little franchise but… $3-4m per seems a reasonable enough offer.  $6m per is absolute madness though.  There’s absolutely no body of work to suggest 33 isn’t his high water mark and perhaps the outlier.  Imagine paying him $6m per and getting around 20 G/year.

Posted by Primis on 09/02/14 at 10:34 PM ET


Absolutely, Primis.
He needs to show he’s got some sort of consistency in him for him to be asking that much per year. A bridge deal at maybe $4M per for two years is reasonable. I had read he is asking for me than 7 per before… That’s crazy.

Posted by teldar on 09/03/14 at 08:38 AM 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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