Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Six

Money still a big sticking point for Johansen, Blue Jackets

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Remember that burst of optimism that came from Ryan Johansen’s agent passing along word that some big progress had been made in negotiations with the Columbus Blue Jackets?

Well, it turns out that the two sides essentially put things on pause. While that previously reported talk of Johansen’s camp compromising on a “bridge” contract is a good thing – he originally wanted a deal that covered him until he could become an unrestricted free agent – the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reports that money is a big holdup.

Actually, Portzline puts it all in such a fun way that it might even distract Blue Jackets from being bummed out about the situation for at least a moment:

Asked this weekend if they were still far apart, one of the interested parties responded via text: “Hectares.”

For those metric users, that’s 10,000 square meters. For non-metric users, that’s 2.47 acres. For those non-math types, that’s a big ol’ gap.

Here’s a challenge for your Sunday: incorporate that unit of measurement into conversation as much as possible.

“It feels like the regular season is hectares away right now.”

“Mowing the lawn would be easier if I didn’t have to cut hectares of grass.”

All measurement silliness aside, it’s easy to see why this is a tough negotiating situation between the team and their budding 22-year-old star. The 2013-14 season represented such a gigantic leap in production that it’s difficult to tell if he’s just scratching the surface of his potential or if he was playing a little over his head.

As an RFA, Johansen’s options are limited, but the Blue Jackets might also want to walk the line between driving a hard bargain and earning some goodwill in the future. After all, quality young players often come cheaper “now” than they do “later.”

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

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Tonight, there’s a big Metropolitan Division showdown at Consol as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers. You can catch the game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

 

 

PHT Morning Skate: It’s not like they robbed a bank

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley seems pretty chill about healthy-scratching Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma. That goes for Monahan and Gaudreau in particular, noting that they’re “great kids.”

Besides … it’s not like they robbed a bank. (NHL.com)

Uh oh, did Nazem Kadri make the throat-slashing gesture to Mark Giordano? See for yourself in the video above. (Puck Daddy)

What should the New York Islanders do with unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo, who’s enjoying a productive contract year? (The Hockey News)

What a playoff berth would mean to the Florida Panthers. (Sportsnet)

Checking in with various teams as the trade deadline looms. (NHL Numbers)

On the Canucks using those Pavel Bure-era jerseys. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.