Ryan Johansen vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Is Over (Isn’t It?)


The deal is done. Ryan Johansen will officially be joining the Columbus Blue Jackets this season, quite possibly drawing into the lineup on Thursday in Buffalo. Get the details on Joey’s new contract here.

Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As for how this will affect the team, no one knows for sure yet. I wrote this article earlier this summer, in which I questioned whether the Jackets and Johansen would be able to “get along” if a deal got done.

Well, the deal is done now. Johansen is signed for the next three years, and it’s a good thing for the Jackets. Facing the probable loss of forward Nathan Horton to back issues and Boone Jenner to a broken hand, the Jackets need all the forward power they can get. So what better time to sign last year’s leading point-scorer?  It’s a good thing, right?

I hope so, but given the Jackets’ past history with contentious signings, it’s hard to be optimistic. As I wrote earlier this summer, Johansen’s attitude toward the Jackets throughout the contract negotiations was unpleasantly similar to the attitude of Jeff Carter when he signed with the Jackets. And we all know how that turned out.

“We’re very pleased to have this over with. I talked to Joey briefly and said ‘get your butt here and let’s go to work.’” -GM Jarmo Kekalainen

With a new contract and three years ahead of him in Columbus, hopefully we’ll see Johansen come into this season eager to play, and hopefully repeat if not beat his performance last year. But, he missed all of preseason. He’s bound to be a bit rusty; just how rusty we’ll find out on Thursday. Will that affect his performance? We’ll see.

Also, missing training camp to “hold out” for more money (not technically, but pretty much) is bound to create some animosity between Johansen and the rest of the CBJ locker room. Will his attitude over the summer affect the chemistry of the team? Jeff Carter’s certainly did.

Now, I know Johansen is no Jeff Carter. He’s not an All-Star (yet), and he wants to play for Columbus. His problem was over money, whereas Carter genuinely didn’t want to play in Columbus. But still, Johansen’s attitude and comments can’t be easily dismissed. It would be nice if we could just forget this ever happened and move on with the season, but is that possible? Will the other players be willing to do that? Is there room for Johansen in the chemistry the team found this preseason?

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No one knows. All we do know is the Jackets had a pretty successful preseason without Joey, and his resigning means it’s likely we’ll see one more young guy sent down to Springfield before the final roster deadline on Tuesday. Hopefully  there isn’t any animosity created by this contract dispute, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is. So what do you think? Will the team be able to put this summer behind them, or will there be some lingering feelings as we start the season? Vote in the poll below and leave a comment to let us know your opinion!