Player News - Blue Jackets

Date: Team: Pos:

Brian Gibbons is expected to battle for a spot on Columbus' fourth line at training camp.

His main competition is slated to come from Corey Tropp, Jerry D'Amigo, Simon Hjalmarsson, Alex Wennberg and Kerby Rychel. Gibbons had five goals and 17 points in 41 games with the Penguins last year, but he did show flashes of offensive skill as well as great speed. His spot on the roster is precarious because he agreed to a two-way deal in July.
Aug 27 - 2:12 PM

Sonny Milano confirmed that he hasn't spoken with the Blue Jackets about an entry-level contract yet.

"Maybe a strong start or a strong season will get me that contract, but there hasn't been any talks yet," he explained. "When I was drafted, Columbus said they had no preference one way or the other, that both the OHL and Boston College were good routes. They basically left it up to us to decide as a family." Milano said it was a tough decision and a difficult conversation to have with Boston College when he decided to play for Plymouth of the OHL this season. On the other side of the coin, Whalers coach Don Elland is thrilled to have him. "He has the potential and ability to become a great player for us," Elland said. "Sonny's an exciting talent that will make our program stronger."
Aug 26 - 4:05 PM

Sergei Bobrovsky got better and better as last season wore on, and proved in the final stretch of the season that his Vezina Trophy in 2013 was no fluke.

The 25 year-old posted goals against averages of 2.60 and 3.00 in October and November of 2013, but then rediscovered his game and kept his GAA below 2.42 in each month until the post-season. The Russian star will need to overcome a poor career playoff record to help the Blue Jackets take the next step. But besides the playoffs and an underwhelming 2011-12 season which caused the Flyers to trade him, Bobrovsky has put up elite stats in his three other years of NHL experience and is showing no signs of taking a dive in 2014-15.
Aug 23 - 9:05 PM

Cam Atkinson's shooting percentage dropped to 9.7 last season, but he still managed to score 21 goals.

If he gets some more puck luck then he could push the 30-goal mark, but he isn't a safe bet to reach that total in 2014-15. Atkinson is expected to play on one of the top three lines, but where is unclear with Nathan Horton and Scott Hartnell in the fold. He spent most of his five-on-five playing time with Brandon Dubinsky and Matt Calvert last campaign, which could lead to him lining up there again. If he earns a top-six forward spot then he's capable of closing in on the 50-point plateau.
Aug 22 - 4:10 PM

Columbus has reached an agreement with the Kalamazoo Wings.

The club will be the Blue Jackets' ECHL affiliate for the 2014-15 season. "We are excited to have the Kalamazoo Wings as our new ECHL affiliate," said Jackets assistant GM Chris MacFarland, who will oversee hockey operations for the team's minor-league affiliates. "We look forward to working with Head Coach Nick Bootland and the entire K-Wings organization to help us develop some of the young players in our system."
Aug 21 - 2:14 PM

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."
Aug 19 - 12:27 PM

The Blue Jackets insist that they didn't urge prospect Sonny Milano to choose the OHL over Boston College.

"We have a lot of respect for Boston College and their program, their ability to develop players," said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. "We have the same kind of respect for Plymouth and their ability to develop players ... which is why we didn't get involved in (Milano's) decision. We left it up to the kid from the get-go." Kekalainen added that there is not currently an entry-level contract on the table for Milano, but now that he's going to the OHL there will be talks.
Aug 18 - 5:52 PM

There's nothing new to report with regard to contract talks between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen.

There hasn't been much to report since it was believed that the two sides were about $3 million per season apart in negotiations. Training camps open in a month and the Jackets need to have their star center ready for what could be a banner year for the franchise.
Aug 18 - 1:30 PM

Sonny Milano had been wrestling with the decision of where to play since he was drafted, but he eventually decided to play in the OHL with the Plymouth Whalers.

"After a great deal of thought and discussion with my family, I have spoken with [Boston College] Coach [Jerry] York and informed him that I will be playing for the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers this season," Milano said in a statement to the Columbus Dispatch. "I think that BC is the best choice for those players who wish to go to school and play hockey. Every player's path to achieving his goal of playing in the NHL is different, and the best route for some is not necessarily the best route for others. For me, the opportunity to play in the OHL is the right decision." He's also expected to sign an entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets.
Source: NHL.com
Aug 18 - 12:00 PM

Blue Jackets' first round pick Sonny Milano has informed Boston College he will not be playing for the Eagles, as the 18 year-old first round pick has decided to sign an entry level contract with Columbus and play in the OHL this year.

The 16th overall pick had assured the media earlier this month that he would be honoring his commitment to Boston College. Nonetheless, the immensely talented puck-wizard has chosen to kickstart his pro career and attend training camp with the big club. NCAA rules ban players from signing pro contracts, so the man with magic hands and incredible poise with the puck is now ineligible for college hockey and will play with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL if he can't hang on in the NHL.
Aug 17 - 12:30 AM

After an outstanding season and playoffs in the OHL, Kerby Rychel looks like he could be ready to make the leap from juniors to the NHL next season.

The 19 year-old winger is still too young for the AHL, so if he doesn't make the Jackets he'll go back to the OHL. But at 6’1 and 202 pounds he is big and skilled enough to wage a competitive battle for a roster spot with Columbus out of training camp. Rychel had 132 points through the regular season and playoffs last season.
Aug 16 - 2:17 PM

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch thinks Ryan Johansen will eventually sign a two-year deal.

The two sides appeared to be $3 million apart per season when they last talked and there hasn't been much progress since. Training camps open a little over a month and both sides could use as leverage to push negotiations.
Aug 13 - 4:08 PM

Part of the reason Scott Hartnell was willing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Blue Jackets was the convincing of former player Jody Shelley.

Shelley now works in the Columbus front office and reportedly served as liaison for Hartnell, providing him information about the city of Columbus and the current make-up of the roster. The rough-and-tumble winger should continue to be a valuable asset in leagues where his combination of scoring and toughness are rewarded.
Aug 9 - 8:57 AM

The Columbus Blue Jackets reportedly wished Ryan Johansen had stuck around Columbus during the summer.

Johansen returned home to British Columbia for the summer, but it has been reported that the Blue jackets would have preferred that he remained in the Columbus area with a number of his teammates. With Johansen and the club currently engaged in hard-fought negotiations, it's not surprising to hear stories like this one surface, but this is the type of non-event that eventually gets brushed aside when the two sides make amends and agree to a deal.
Aug 9 - 8:47 AM

Ryan Johansen's agent reportedly has two- and four-year proposals on table, while Columbus has two- and three-year offers.

There hasn't been much talking between the two sides lately, which gives credence to the report that they are far apart in terms money. Columbus doesn't want to give him a four-year deal because it would lead right into unrestricted free agency.
Aug 7 - 4:33 PM


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