Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two

Columnist cautions against holdout for Blue Jackets’ Johansen


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.

Ortio clears waivers, assigned to Flames’ AHL team

Joni Ortio
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Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.

The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),

But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.

In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.

Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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Two injury updates in one post.

First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.

Jarred Tinordi becomes the latest youngster to be sent to the AHL for ‘conditioning’

Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher
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Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.

It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.

Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.

Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.