Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen feels it's very important for Ryan Johansen's contract situation to be settled before training camp opens in a about a month from now.
"It's a business," Kekalainen said. "But for me, the team is always first. Everything we do — whether you're a star, a fourth-liner, a grinder, the tough guy, a depth guy — this is all about the team. That's why you have to be in camp the first day. That's when it starts, and that's when the team comes together. It's very, very important that we start as a team. To me, that is huge. That's going to be a very serious matter from a team point of view." That's not a surprising point of view and it has the potential to change the relationship between the two sides if it becomes a holdout. Johansen's agent, Kurt Overhardt, feels an unresolved contract into camp puts more pressure on Columbus than it does on his client. Both sides feel they have leverage in the process and they haven't budged for more than four weeks. They are roughly $3 million apart per season on a two-year contract. Kekalainen said there's "plenty of time to get a deal done."
Tue, Aug 19, 2014 12:27:00 PM