Written by: Matthew Ruskan (@MRuskun)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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Take that check to the bank, Mr. Johansen. That’s right, the Columbus Blue Jackets and (prior to Tuesday) Restricted Free Agent Ryan Johansen have finally agreed to terms with the emerging star at his pivotal role. The deal is a perfect example of a compromise - no one is thrilled, but it works (maybe Congress should look at this as a case study). The deal is for three-years with $3 million in each of the first two seasons and then a nice bump to $6 million for the third and final year. This deal is probably considered a win-lose for both parties involved.
For the Blue Jackets, they get their young star for a bargain rate (it is especially a bargain if Johansen continues to produce as he did last year) of $3 million for the first two years of the contract. For Johansen, he earns a nice pay bump in the third year of the contract that makes qualifying him as an RFA a lot more expensive.
But before we look ahead three years, let us look at right now.
First things first, the Blue Jackets need to go buy some aloe because they have some soothing to do. Ryan Johansen, understandably, is a bit miffed. What really got under his skin is that the Blue Jackets decided to release the terms of the deal that they had offered, which is a major no-no when it comes to negotiations. Almost as important as signing Johansen is signing a Johansen who WANTS to be in Columbus. Fans may remember what having a star who doesn’t want to be there looks like, *cough* Marian Gaborik *cough* Jeff Carter *cough*.
The next big thing is getting Johansen’s legs underneath him. While Johansen was working out in Vancouver while he held out for a larger contract, he was not participating in training camp/pre-season and no matter how much training you do, nothing substitutes for ice time with your team.
Now, lets fast forward three years under the assumption that Johansen is everything we think he is. The best case for the Blue Jackets and their fans is that Johansen has already been signed to a long term, very pricey extension. If that is the case, however, it means that Johansen is a franchise player that is going to lead this team for years to come. The worst case? Johansen is still angry over this contract negotiation, applies for arbitration and gets the one year deal at 6 million and then goes out to test free agency. If you are a Blue Jackets fan, this is a scary option.
Right now, however, Johansen is back in the fold, and that is a fantastic thing.
Other CBJ News and Notes:
● Brandon Dubinsky underwent surgery Wednesday to repair an abdominal injury and will be out 6 weeks. This really hurts an already predicted shaky start to the season with a difficult schedule and the Horton injury.
● Speaking of injuries...on October 1 Boone Jenner underwent hand surgery and will be out five weeks. See the end of the above note on Dubinsky.