Just when most fans in Columbus expected that Ryan Johansen would miss the start of the regular season, the Blue Jackets put out the best news anyone could ask for:
The next piece of relevant news would be broken by TSN's Bob MacKenzie, who reported the deal to come with an AAV of $4 million per year. While higher than the front office appeared to want to go, it's still below the Johansen camp's original $6 million AAV offer. (And, as many are already pointing out on twitter, it seems like the "natural" compromise that many fans and pundits alike had suggested all summer.)
But as is so often the case, the devil is in the details.
The key to the deal (and very possibly one of the sticking points over the negotiations) is how it's structured. According to Aaron Portzline of the Dispatch, Johansen is going to receive three million in each of the first two years of his deal, but that jumps up to six million for the 2016-2017 season, meaning that when the two sides meet to start talking about his next contract, he'll be qualified as a $6M/year player.
Both sides "win" - the front office get Johansen on the ice with a fairly low cap hit for the first two years of his deal, while Johansen gets a significant raise both compared to similar players in their second contract and over the life of this deal. Yet the FO likely walks away unhappy about what this is likely to mean for his next deal, and Johansen still has to wait (and produce!) for another two seasons, minimum, before his "big" payday.
A wise man once said that the perfect compromise leaves both sides unhappy, and certainly seems to be the case today.
Expect this news, along with the claim of Jack Skille, to send some shockwaves through the opening night roster. What does this mean for Michael Chaput, Alexander Wennberg, and Marko Dano, among others?
We told you it was about to get interesting, didn't we?