Report: Johansen lowers demands, but not low enough

35 Comments

Kurt Overhardt, the agent for Ryan Johansen, is no longer looking for a two-year, $12 million contract for his client; however, the lowered demands still aren’t as low as the Columbus Blue Jackets would like them to be.

According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Overhardt “came down last Thursday from the $6 million plus a year he originally asked for to less than $5 million per year.”

On a two-year term, the Jackets say they’ve offered $3 million per. So there remains a considerable gap.

Meanwhile, Overhardt told the Columbus Post-Dispatch that the Jackets’ public airing of their frustrations over the contract impasse was risking the relationship the club has with its young player.

“The only reason this relationship would be damaged is because of actions by the organization,” said Overhardt. “We will do nothing to damage the relationship. We have done nothing to damage the relationship. We’ve made ourselves readily available to work on this matter and to close this matter out so the player can continue playing.

“The only damage that’d be done will come from management. There is a point … there can be a tipping point, if there continues to be derogatory comments, negative comments, continuous drawing lines in the sand … it just, it doesn’t make sense. If you think about doing that in a public forum, I mean, what’s the purpose? If we spent our energies — or if the other side would spend their energy — on focusing on getting a deal done, rather than getting in front of a microphone, I’m certain that a contract can be done.”

Related: NHL GMs sympathize with Jackets on Johansen situation