Davidson: Johansen’s demands ‘anything but fair’

Ryan Johansen and his agent are making big demands, and Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson joined PTS to talk about the terms Johansen's camp has rejected. Davidson maintains he won't relent no matter how dire the circumstances seem.

John Davidson is fed up with the the state of negotiations with restricted free agent Ryan Johansen.

The Columbus Blue Jackets president of hockey operations joined Prime Time Sports on Wednesday to discuss the increasingly ugly standoff with his star centre.

“We feel that we as an organization want to be extremely fair,” Davidson told Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Stephen Brunt and Bob McCown.”Their numbers in our opinion are way out there. They’re not even talking points to be honest.

“After a while when you talk and you keep sensing that you’re getting hit over the head, you get tired of it — enough’s enough. It’s silly games to me.”

Davidson and Kekalainen both voiced their displeasure with Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, Tuesday night, and cooler heads didn’t prevail on Wednesday.

“When you make a deal you don’t go in there and try to kill somebody. The idea isn’t to slaughter somebody in a deal. The idea is to go there and make a fair deal,” Davidson said. “We feel that we’ve been very fair — more than fair. And what we’re getting back is anything but fair.”

Johansen led the Blue Jackets in scoring last season with 33 goals and 63 points in 82 games. In 107 NHL games prior to last season, the fourth overall pick in 2010 had 14 goals and 33 points.

The Blue Jackets initially wanted to ink Johansen to a “bridge deal” similar to the ones signed in recent years by young stars such as P.K. Subban (two years, $5.75M) and Matt Duchene (two years, $7M), an offer the 22-year-old called a “slap in the face.” But with talks remaining at a standstill, the Blue Jackets tabled two additional deals, the details of which which were made public on Wednesday.

According to Davidson, Johansen’s camp asked for twice as much on the bridge deal and much higher on the other deals.

“I don’t want to be taken advantage of. If I went and agreed to Kurt’s demands … I might get fired, and maybe should be fired. So let’s man up and do something that’s fair to both sides and makes sense.”

Despite all the mudslinging, Davidson reiterated that he is not upset with Johansen, who will not be in Columbus on Thursday when the Blue Jackets begin training camp.

“I’m not taking this out at all on Ryan Johansen — he’s a great kid,” said Davidson.

“All we want is a fair deal.”

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