There was plenty of reason for optimism in Columbus at the start of the summer, but the Blue Jackets’ training camp has been a bucket of cold water.
Boone Jenner was took a puck to his hand during Sunday’s practice and has been diagnosed with a broken bone, per the Columbus Dispatch. He needs to undergo further tests, but Jenner is tentatively expected to miss four-to-six weeks.
Combine that with Nathan Horton “degenerative” back condition and Ryan Johansen’s contract dispute and the Blue Jackets have now lost their entire projected first line.
“That why we have a second line, a third line and a fourth line,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said. “It’s an opportunity for some of other guys now.”
The question is though if this will influence how the Blue Jackets approach the Johansen situation. The two sides appear to be been waiting for the other to cave after drawing their lines in the sand. On a two-year deal, the Blue Jackets have offered a contract worth $6 million total while Johansen reportedly wants $9.4 million.
At the same time, the recent news hasn’t entirely played into Johansen’s hand. Jaden Schwartz recently signed a two-year, $4.7 million bridge contract. Johansen’s agent Kurt Overhardt insists that it doesn’t impact their negotiations, but the two forwards’ production has been similar.
Columbus will play in its season opener on Oct. 9.