It appears there could be a contract dispute looming in Columbus.
Pending restricted free agent Ryan Johansen wants to sign an extension with the Blue Jackets, but he isn’t happy with what the team is offering.
“We’re not even close. They say, ‘We want to sign you to a bridge deal.’ We say, ‘We don’t want to do a bridge, and that’s the end of it,” Johansen told The Columbus Dispatch. “I’ve earned more than a two- or three-year deal with my play. It seems a little disrespectful, to be honest. I want to play in Columbus, and I want to be a Blue Jacket, but I want to get this done. It seems like a slap in the face.”
Johansen was drafted fourth-overall by the Blue Jackets in 2010 as a blue-chip prospect, and that’s exactly what he’s proven to be. The 21-year-old is coming off a career year that saw him bulge the twine 33 times, adding 30 assists to lead his team in goals and points.
The Vancouver native was one of 21 players to register at least 30 goals last season, and he was the youngest member of that group. He also added six points in six playoff games.
The Blue Jackets qualified for the post-season for just the second time in franchise history last year, and Johansen played a major role. The club won four of their final five regular-season games to sneak into the playoffs — Johansen had seven points in those five games.
“The more I played, the more we won last season, and I got better the more I played,” Johansen. “I don’t see the issue.”
The Blue Jackets also have to make decisions on RFA forwards Matt Frattin and Corey Tropp, plus defenceman David Savard.