The ongoing drama involving the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen continues.
With Johansen’s name being bandied about in trade speculation since being benched by coach John Tortorella and made a healthy scratch, Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson didn’t necessarily quell all that talk in an interview with Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.
“The situation is we’re in a position where we’re trying to upgrade our team. If we can make a deal – I don’t care who it is – we’re sitting at the bottom of the heap right now. Unless the contract stipulates otherwise, everybody’s tradeable. That’s hockey. It could be Joey or it could be anybody else. If we feel it’s the right deal, we make the deal,” Davidson told the Columbus Dispatch.
The Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks are all tied with 27 points at the bottom of the NHL’s overall standings.
The 23-year-old Johansen, selected fourth overall by the Blue Jackets in the 2010 draft, has been involved in the trade rumor mill for a while now.
The talented center did accept responsibility for getting scratched, but it was the latest in a growing list of episodes involving him and Tortorella since Torts took over the head coach duties in Columbus in late-October.
How long can it continue before something gives?
Johansen has six goals and 22 points in 31 games this season.