It’s probably a bit early to get too worried about Ryan Johansen’s unsettled contract status with the Columbus Blue Jackets – even with some vague offer sheet talk floating around – but the Columbus Dispatch’s Michael Arace warns both sides that failing to get something done by training camp could leave everyone losing out.
He mainly argues it wouldn’t be a good idea for the 22-year-old forward, in particular, though:
If Johansen is turning down a reasonable offer and sitting during training camp, he will be doing himself, his teammates and their fans a disservice. The Blue Jackets will begin preparations with a hole on their top line. Their growth, and Johansen’s, will be stunted. Slow starts have hurt the Jackets in recent years. Do they want the brakes on in September this year?
Arace makes an interesting point, especially since Johansen’s 2013-14 production towers over his previous output in such a way that the Blue Jackets probably want to do everything they can to avoid a disruption.
Here’s the thing, though: NHL training camps are pretty brief and there’s evidence that missing some time doesn’t really hurt players … at least if they’re actually legitimately good.
P.K. Subban might be the best example of that. Things seemed to get a little heated with the Montreal Canadiens regarding his second-most-recent contract, yet he came back and won the 2013 Norris Trophy. It’s not as if Johansen has a host of new teammates to become acquainted with either, as Columbus didn’t exactly experience a lot of turnover this summer.
Instead, the bigger worries might revolve around the sides negotiating. The other “holdout” example that comes to mind is the Colorado Avalanche’s situation with Ryan O’Reilly; sure, that is settled for now … but it almost feels like a divorce is inevitable there.
In other words, as “chilly” as things might be between Johansen’s representatives and the Blue Jackets, the key is to indeed avoid making things personal.
Nolan Patrick will miss the upcoming World Juniors due to an injury that has kept him out of game action since mid-October.
Hockey Canada made the announcement Monday evening.
Patrick is a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. He was recently named to Canada’s selection camp, however the 18-year-old forward has only played in six games with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings this season.
He has four goals and nine points, his season reduced because of this upper-body injury. Per Hockey Canada, Patrick hasn’t been medically cleared to attend the camp, so therefor he will miss the entire tournament.
Patrick has already missed the annual series last month between Canada and Russia. He also underwent sports hernia surgery in July.
Related: Pre-game reading: Some advice for Nolan Patrick
Roberto Luongo was on his game in the first period versus the Boston Bruins on Monday.
The Florida Panthers goalie was called upon to make 14 saves in the opening 20 minutes, and none better than this glove stop on Ryan Spooner.
Spooner appeared to have the wide open net on a cross-ice pass, but Luongo threw up the glove in spectacular fashion to deny the Bruins forward less than three minutes into the game.
The Philadelphia Flyers have had their share of good news lately. They’ve won five in a row and goalie Steve Mason has been solid in that span, being named on Monday the NHL’s first star for the week.
But it hasn’t all been positive.
Forward Matt Read is out of the lineup for at least four weeks with an upper-body injury, the Flyers announced Monday. The injury occurred during Sunday’s game against the Nashville Predators.
It’s been reported the injury is an oblique muscle pull.
With Read out, the Flyers have recalled Taylor Leier from the American Hockey League.
Leier has been very productive in the minors. In 22 games this season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, he has six goals and 20 points.
The topic of a possible Wild Card play-in game being added to the NHL’s playoff format isn’t new.
General managers around the league have talked about it before. The idea recently seemed to gain traction with at least the small majority, too.
Hockey insider Bob McKenzie once polled all 30 GMs to get a sense of how many would be in favor of such a thing — and 16 of those GMs were. You can count Ken Holland with the Detroit Red Wings as someone who would like to see a Wild Card play-in game.
Holland is also a baseball fan and likes the way MLB has created must-watch play-in games. In baseball, there are three division winners in each league. Those three teams qualify for the division round of the postseason. Two wild-card teams in each league square off in a one-game play-in to decide the fourth divisional qualifier on each side.
“I’m all for an extra team in each conference qualifying for the playoffs and having a wild- card play-in game,” said Holland. “It would add excitement down the stretch for many more teams fighting for the additional wild-card spot and two extra teams would be involved in the playoffs. Those play-in games would be dramatic.”
Of course, the interesting thing about that is the Red Wings have a streak of 25 consecutive playoff appearances on the line.
But their best days — when Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg led them to a Stanley Cup in 2008 and the final the following year — are long behind them. The organization has undergone substantial change with Zetterberg getting older, the loss of Datsyuk to the KHL and Mike Babcock joining the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Red Wings could be in real danger of missing the post-season under its current format in 2017.
Detroit is two points out of the second Wild Card spot in the East, with New Jersey and Boston still ahead of them, although not currently in a playoff spot.