Hello Johansen? Boone Jenner out with broken hand


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.

The sound of silence persists in Johansen ‘talks’


Restricted free agent Ryan Johansen’s agent Kurt Overhardt and the Columbus Blue Jackets have made their cases and issued their contract proposals. They’re watching training camp slip away, but with the start of the regular season approaching, both sides appear to have hunkered down.

The two sides haven’t talked to each other in over a week, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

Columbus has offered Johansen a few contracts of varying length, including a two-year, $6 million deal. The 22-year-old forward had been reportedly seeking double that on a two-year contract, but he’s believed to have lowered his demands to $9.4 million total over two seasons.

That’s still a sizable gap for them to overcome and at this point, both sides might be waiting for the other to cave. Meanwhile, Johansen is losing valuable time to properly prepare for the start of the 2014-15 campaign while the Blue Jackets attempt to cope with the loss of Nathan Horton (back) on top of Johansen.


Even some agents don’t get what Overhardt is doing with Johansen demands

Who will return first, Horton or Johansen?


The Columbus Blue Jackets issues at forward grew Thursday as it was announced veteran Nathan Horton is suffering from a “degenerative” back condition. Horton’s ailment is in addition to the much publicized contract dispute between the Jackets and star center Ryan Johansen.

Thursday’s news prompted Columbus Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline to ask, “Who will be back in the Blue Jackets’ lineup first, No. 1 center Ryan Johansen or wing Nathan Horton?”

As bad as the Johansen negotiations have been, Portzline mentions that Horton’s injury could be season-ending, if not career-ending.

Horton, 29, has been plagued by injuries throughout his career having played in all 82 games just twice in his career and not since the 2007-08 season with the Florida Panthers.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is hoping rehab can help Horton’s return.

“Everybody is different, obviously, because there is pain involved,” said Kekalainen. “I think Nathan Horton is probably more frustrated than anybody right now as far as trying to find a way to get stronger and get back to being able to play again. It’s about getting stronger and managing the pain by getting stronger in the core.

“Then, your back gets stronger and the pain will go away. (He) is the only person that really knows where he is at and how much pain there is involved. It’s impossible for anybody else to know what he is going through right now. He is suffering.”

As for the Johansen negotiations, Portzline says there’s nothing new to report. It is believed the two sides are $1.7 million apart, per year, on a two-year contract.

Johansen, who skated along side Dallas Stars holdout defenseman Brenden Dillon in Vancouver Thursday, is expected to join his junior team, the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League for practice on Friday.

Related: Even some agents don’t get what Overhardt is doing with Johansen demands

Jackets say Horton has ‘degenerative’ back problem, no timetable for return


These are frustrating times for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Dealing with acrimonious Ryan Johansen contract negotiations on one front, the club is also faced with Nathan Horton’s problematic health — and on Thursday, GM Jarmo Kekelainen gave a bleak update on Horton’s ailing back.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Horton has yet to skate during this training camp because of what general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has called a “degenerative” back condition, albeit one, he has said, that generally plagues almost everyone who has played hockey.

Kekalainen today reiterated that Horton’s injury is one that the club believes can be remedied by a continued course of core strengthening. It is not clear when Horton might be able to resume hockey activities, and no one with knowledge of the injury has ventured to even guess at a timetable.

“Everybody is different, obviously, because there is pain involved and all kinds of things involved with that,” Kekalainen said. “I think Nathan Horton is probably more frustrated than anybody right now as far as trying to find a way to get stronger and get back to being able to play again.”

Horton, 29, has been sidelined for nearly all of his career in Columbus, which began last summer after signing a lucrative seven-year, $37.1 million deal. The Jackets inked Horton knowing he’d need extensive time to recover from shoulder surgery; as such, he didn’t make his debut until January but was a solidifying presence upon joining the lineup, posting 18 points in 35 games on the club’s top line with Johansen and Boone Jenner (Horton was noticeably struggling in the goalscoring department, though, tallying just four times.)

In April, injury struck again. An abdominal issue, and subsequent surgery, ended Horton’s campaign prematurely and he missed all of Columbus’ spirited opening-round playoff loss to Pittsburgh. Though he was thought to be healthy and cleared for training camp this fall, another health setback has forced him to miss time.

Columbus isn’t putting a timetable on Horton’s return but, given his lack of participation in camp and preseason games, it’s very likely he’ll be unavailable when the Jackets open the regular season on Oct. 9 versus Buffalo.

“[Horton] is the only person that really knows where he is at and how much pain there is involved,” Kekelainen said on Thursday. “It’s impossible for anybody else to know what he is going through right now.

“He is suffering.”

Injuries piling up as preseason schedule begins


Sunday marks the beginning of the 2014-15 preseason schedule with seven teams participating in five games. Many of the league’s other teams will participate in scrimmages throughout the day.

However, just three days after camps began, injuries are piling up.

(Note: This post will be updated a few times on Sunday.)

Here is a list of players, who are currently sidelined:

Many of the injuries are day-to-day situations or precautionary. Should today be Day 1 of the regular season most of the aforementioned players would likely be taking part in game action. That said, these injuries could linger and become nagging situations as the season continues. Now you know where they originated.