Blue Jackets GM on Johansen deal: 'I said 'get your butt over here and let's get to work'
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen finally ended their long standoff by agreeing to a three-year, $12 million contract on Monday. The contract itself is an interesting one in that it includes a $6 million salary for the final year of the deal, which will provide Johansen's camp with nearly all of the leverage the next time the two sides sit down to negotiate a deal in the summer of 2017.
In the meantime, the Blue Jackets have locked up a bona fide first-line center and two-way ace for the next three seasons at a very reasonable $4 million cap-hit.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen seemed pleased to have reached an agreement and focused on what Johansen might achieve in the years to come:
Kekalainen also appeared to dodge questions about whether or not the Blue Jackets had provided Johansen's camp with an ultimatum:
Finally, Kekalainen described his gung-ho conversation with Johansen on Monday morning, after the two sides had agreed to the new deal:
Johansen is expected to return to Columbus late Tuesday evening, and could practice with the team on Wednesday and Thursday.
It's also probably worth noting that Johansen retweeted this tweet, which might imply that he thinks he made out pretty well with his new contract (via @wyshynski):
The pertinent question now for the Blue Jackets is: can Johansen play up to his full potential when he's just missed two weeks of training camp? Or will it take him a while to work his way back into game shape?