Apr 28, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen (19) carries the puck under pursuit from Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter (16) in game six of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets talks with Ryan Johansen remain 'chilly'

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The Columbus Blue Jackets stand a month removed from the 2014 NHL preseason and they still don’t have their top goal scorer from last season under contract. While Ryan Johansen clearly isn’t going anywhere, he’s also not on pace to be at training camp. For a 22-year-old coming off a career year, that’s a step backward no one really wants him to take. Still, both parties have dug in, believing theirs is the side with leverage, which means contract talks still have ways to go between the two teams.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch remains your #1 source for news of Johansen talks and he offers the latest update via Twitter and a short piece.

He adds in this Dispatch piece, “The Blue Jackets believe they have leverage because Johansen does not have arbitration rights and, as yet, has not signed an offer sheet with another club.”

Meanwhile Johansen’s camp, “would argue that Johansen is the Jackets’ No. 1 center and their most talented offensive player.”

So here we are at a stalemate, with the two parties still sitting about $3 million off in contract expectations. Every now and then a young player emerges early in his career with few negotiating rights and we see this dance take place over the duration of the summer.

Most of the time, these quibbles are solved at the dawn of training camp because neither side wants the player in question to lose time. This happened with Cody Hodgson in Buffalo and Derek Stepan in New York last year. Until Johansen’s talks cut into training camp, Blue Jackets fans would be best off taking a deep breath and knowing that one way or another, Ryan Johansen will be a Blue Jacket this season.

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Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets Ryan Johansen

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