The Blue Jackets and restricted free agent center Ryan Johansen may still be a long way from a new contract. But after weeks of silence there has been significant progress. Johansen's agent, Kurt Overhardt, recently extended a second contract offer to the Blue Jackets, sources have told The Dispatch. It's a two-year contract, or a "bridge" deal -- the type Johansen called a "slap in the face" late last month. The term of the contract -- the player demanded a long-term contract, the Blue Jackets insisted on a shorter deal -- was the major stumbling block in these negotiations dating back to April. "Ryan wants to be a Blue Jacket and he wants to be in Columbus," said Overhardt, who declined to discuss the negotiations. "That has never been an issue in any of this. He loves it there. "He was very excited to see the club wrap up Brandon Dubinsky with such a long-term contract (earlier this month). That's the kind of player he wants as a teammate, the kind of player he wants beside him." Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen was not available for comment. Assistant GM Bill Zito, who has handled these negotiations, did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.
Progress In Ryan Johansen Contract Talks
Columbus Dispatch | Jul 21