Category Archives: Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Jack Johnson Suspended Three Games For Hit To Head

Oh captain, my captain! The Blue Jackets will be without their captain, Jack Johnson, for a few games. (Photo: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Oh captain, my captain! The Blue Jackets will be without their captain, Jack Johnson, for a few games. (Photo: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The injury bug has hit the NHL hard this season, but one could easily argue that bug has hit the Columbus Blue Jackets harder than anyone else and now thanks to a dangerous hit and the NHL’s department of player safety, they’ll be down yet another player.

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Shuffle in the standings: Metro Division recap – Week 4

standingsWeek4

We’re coming up on the end of the 2014-15 season’s first month. This week, the standings have slightly shifted. We look now at the week that was in the Metro Division: Read more

Islanders continue run on top: Metro Division recap week 3

StandingsWeek3We go around the Metro to look at the week that was. The Islanders continue their run atop the Metro standings, while the Hurricanes are making their case for Connor McDavid, as the league’s only remaining winless team. Read more

FTHN’s Metropolitan Division Preview

The Flyers and Rangers met in the first round of last year's playoffs, in a grueling seven-game series. The Rangers would eventually win the series, en route to an appearance in the Stanley Cup final. (metro.us)

The Flyers and Rangers met in the first round of last year’s playoffs, in a grueling seven-game series. The Rangers would eventually win the series, en route to an appearance in the Stanley Cup final. (metro.us)

Despite being labeled as one of the league’s weakest divisions, the Metropolitan Division became increasingly competitive as the second half of the season went on. Read more

Johansen Watch: Negotiations Take Ugly Turn

Young star Ryan Johansen has buoyed the Blue Jackets this year (FantasyWired)

Young star Ryan Johansen’s contract negotiations with Columbus have reached nearly-unprecedented levels of ugliness. (FantasyWired)

The Columbus Blue Jackets will open training camp on Friday, and may do so without completing one of their prioritized offseason tasks — signing Ryan Johansen to a contract. Read more

Ryan Johansen Watch: The Next P.K. Subban Situation?

Young star Ryan Johansen has buoyed the Blue Jackets this year (FantasyWired)

Ryan Johansen’s contract dilemma has been another interesting storyline this offseason. (FantasyWired)

One of the offseason’s most intriguing storylines came with the contract war between the Montreal Canadiens and P.K. Subban. Much happened happened between Subban’s last deal — a two-year bridge deal — and this summer, including a Norris Trophy win and helping the Habs to their first Eastern Conference final since 2010.

Of course, the saga ended after an arbitration with an eight-year, $72 million deal that gives Subban the NHL’s third-highest cap hit ($9 million). It was an arduous process for both sides, but ultimately, Subban will be with le Bleu, Blanc et Rouge for a long time.

So where does this leave the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen? It’s a situation that may not have made as many waves as Subban and the Canadiens, but is still worth taking a close look at.

Johansen, 22, remains the only restricted free agent unsigned by the Blue Jackets. He’s expressed interest in a long-term deal, though the Blue Jackets — led by President of Hockey Operations John Davidson and GM Jarmo Kekalainen — offered shorter-term bridge deals, which reportedly left Johansen feeling like he had taken a “slap in the face.”

Surely, a public war of words won’t help Johansen with the Jacket’s brain trust. But with the team on the verge of becoming an Eastern Conference contender, it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t want to lock up a potential franchise cornerstone for the long haul.

Just a matter of weeks ago, it seemed Johansen and his camp were set to accept a shorter-term deal after all. But now, the two parties are still “hectares” apart, and according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline, they’re not as communicative.

With just over a month to go until the Blue Jackets return to training camp, how much longer will the battle go on?

Johansen established himself as a breakout talent in the league last season with 63 points in 82 games, along with a 50.5 Corsi percentage. He also added a point-per-game average in the playoffs, despite a loss to Metropolitan Division-rival Pittsburgh in six games.

Ryan Johansen

Ryan Johansen’s breakout season in 2013-14 included 63 points in 82 games, along with six points in six playoff games. (ProHockeyTalk)

The Blue Jackets currently have $53.28 million spread over 22 players, meaning they have almost $16 million in cap space for next season. They’re in a position to give Johansen a significant payday if they so choose.

But it’s understandable if they’re willing to hesitate on investing that much in a 22-year-old. With a big contract comes big expectations, and that’s not something most 22-year-olds would be able or willing to handle easily. It makes sense to allow Johansen to try and repeat his breakout success in a shorter deal, so that not as much time and money is invested in the (unlikely) event his 63-point campaign was a mere fluke.

At the end of the day, however, locking Johansen up for the long haul would make the most sense for Columbus and its brain trust. Johansen’s got the potential to lead the Blue Jackets to new heights, and signing a long-term deal will be much easier now than in two-to-four years when he establishes himself in the NHL’s ranks.

Follow Rob Riches on Twitter @Riches61.

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