Blue Jackets, Johansen resume contract negotiations

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The Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, have ended more than a week of silence, per the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

The discussions have included a possible two-year, bridge contract, but other options haven’t been ruled out. As far as two-year deals go, the Blue Jackets have previously offered a $6 million deal while Overhardt reportedly countered with one worth $9.4 million total, so they have a substantial gap to close.

The timing of the resumption of talks is interesting. It could be simply a byproduct of the season fast approaching, but it comes after a number of other restricted free agents coming to terms in recent days. Perhaps most notable among them was St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz’s two-year, $4.7 million agreement. Schwartz was also taken in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and put up similar numbers to Johansen last season.

At the same time, this also corresponds with Boone Jenner suffering a broken hand. Nathan Horton is also out with a back injury, so the Blue Jackets are in danger of entering the season without a single member of their projected first line unless they re-sign Johansen.