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The real reason Johansen won’t get paid


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http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/getting-the-johansen-debate-right/

There are any number of NHL teams that would happily pay Ryan Johansen what he wants, or seems to want.

Dont buy the nonsense that he still needs to prove what he is as an NHLer. Columbus knows what he is, agent Kurt Overhart knows what he is and every other club in the league knows what he is. Hes a blue-chip, 22-year-old, 6-foot-4 inch centre who was the fourth overall draft pick in his year and who has blossomed into a front-line player with 33 goals last season.

Hes the kind of young, franchise centre so many teams dont have and would dearly love to find. But those teams cant acquire Johansens playing rights, not really.

And anyways, thats not the issue.

The issue is this increasingly awkward area that exists between the time a player like Johansen can be dictated to as far as what he earns, and the time when he does the dictating. Teams look to bridge contracts as a way to get from the first place to the second; players and agents look at those contracts as unreasonably restricting salaries and are chafing under these restraints.

See Subban, P.K., for a handy reference.

Layered on top of this, meanwhile, is the reality that the manner in which the NHL pays its players continues to make little sense, particularly for the talented and very good players, like Johansen.

Next season, the NHLs maximum salary will be closing in on $14 million, and only Nashvilles Shea Weber ($14 million) is at that level. Sidney Crosby ($12 million) is close, while seven others make more than $10 million and the rest of the league is below that.

Less than 30 players make 50 per cent of the league max, an interesting figure which suggests that its not that the Blue Jackets cant afford to compensate Johansen. Its that they cant afford to pay him within the budget theyve had to set because of the money-losing seasons the team has experienced of late in a small market, and because players of much less impact and importance on their team are paid too much.

Columbus cant, or wont, pay Johansen $5 million or $6 million because its paying Nick Foligno, to pick one player, more than $3 million.

@reporterchris:

John Davidson tells reporters that the #CBJ offered Ryan Johansen $3M AAV over 2 years, $5.33M AAV over 6 years and $5.75M over 8 years.

Elsewhere, Boston is also struggling to fix its payroll problems caused by a variety of issues, including the fact Marc Savards salary is still on the books, but also because Chris Kelly is making $3 million and Johnny Boychuk more than that.

Every team, not just Columbus, has to deal with this. The Maple Leafs had to squeeze Nazem Kadri last year because they were paying Nik Kulemin and David Clarkson far too much. The Oilers have joined this group by paying substantial salaries to players like Nikita Nikitin and Benoit Pouliot, which will create a tricky problem for Edmonton when it comes to figuring out Nail Yakupovs salary next summer.

The middle class, as a general rule, is simply paid far too much in the NHL today. Its not that these players arent good athletes or quality teammates, but they are generally replaceable, and they dont contribute anywhere close to that which the top players contribute.

So teams like Columbus have to hold the line with players like Johansen, and theyll demonize the agent while trying not to alienate the player to do that. The Canadiens pretty much knew what they had in Subban he won the Norris Trophy in the first year of his bridge deal but needed to suppress his earning power because they, like all other clubs, are paying too many non-star players in that $2-4 million range.

To the public, and to the player, teams sell the notion that the best must take less in order to help the team be more competitive. The correct and sensible model for the NHL would be to have more players at the max or close to it, and more players below $2 million. Why should Crosby take less so Nick Spaling, for example, can make $2.2 million?

Few players can do what Johansen does. Many can do what Foligno does, not to pick on him, but to use him as an example.

But salaries in the NHL, as a general rule, dont differentiate nearly enough between the special players and the ordinary ones.

Which is how we got here with Johansen.

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I had to see who wrote the article, and of course it's Cox.

His suggestion is to pay more players less than 2 mill, and more players closer to 10 mill, effectively getting rid of the "middle class" players. That is a horrible idea. While some players are grossly overpaid (Clarkson, Bolland, etc.) there is a gradient in skill in the league and just because you're not Crosby, doesn't mean you should get paid the same as a 3rd/4th liner.

With regards to the star players, I think they are overpaid to. Why should Crosby get 12 million? He may be the best player on earth right now, but what difference does it make to his life to make 12 mill compared to 10 mill or, heaven forbid, only a 7 figure salary.

The real reason that the too many average players are getting 2-4 million is because the top players are paid too much. This drives the salary of every player up because the scale is shifted up. The solution isn't to create a huge gulf in salaries where it jumps from 2 million to 10 million with few players in between, but to bring the salaries of the top players back down so everyone is paid reasonably.

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That's funny. Coming out of the lockout last year the big prediction was that the middle class guys would take the hit, but I guess it's easier to squeeze the guys you control the most.

And as with the lockout, it's up to the teams' owners and management to stop forcing this on one another. Middle class guys make what they do because if their team won't give it to them, another will. And of course the agents are happy to play them back and forth until you wind up with something like the Clarkson contract.

Perhaps if the GMs wanted to work together to create a general cap management tiered system they could ensure that various players don't wind up overpaid (and this goes for the superstars as well as the 2nd and 3rd liners) but then again it's competitive sports, these guys are always looking to get an edge on one another.

So, in the meantime, I think we'll just see more of these young RFA stalled negotiations.

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That's doesn't make any sort of point. Something called having a cap structure and it effects future contracts...ask Toronto about that.

It actually does.

Johansen will get signing to a 7 cap hit per season contract at most, the cap will be going up and that will also mean more cap space. Players who are going to need new contracts next year for the Jackets are: Bobrovsky, Hjalmarsson, Calvert, Atkinson, Letestu, Foligno, Erixon. That seems like alot but Columbus has Rychel, Milano, Wennberg all close to NHL jobs.

If the cap goes to 75 million, Johansen gets signed to a 6.5 cap hit then Columbus will have plenty of cap space to work with. Bobrovsky will get 5.5 million maximum IMO, Varlamov money and Foligno gets 5 max. That's plenty of cap space to get the depth players in along with Wennberg playing in the NHL.

Even after Ryan Murray's and Jenner's contracts are up after their ELC, Anismov will be off the shelf replaced by Milano, Dano and Rychel who will be on their ELC contracts along with the cap getting close to 85 million if not there yet.

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That's doesn't make any sort of point. Something called having a cap structure and it effects future contracts...ask Toronto about that.

Its one of the things Gillis did well. He priced people by their minutes and impact, and definitely had his ranges. 3rd liners who had special skillets got 2-2.5, top 4 D got 4.5, etc. Sedins at 6 definitely kept Kes at 5.

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Personally, if he's doing a big deal, 5.75M for 8 years is perfectly reasonable. Given that Hall and Eberle got 6, he could push for tiny bit more, but anything more than 6M per year is pushing it IMO.

No way. In the new CBA era, Johansen could get 7-8M easy in a couple years if he continues to up his production, which seems pretty likely that he will.

It's in Johansen's best interest not to sign a long-term deal now and sign a bridge so that he can get PAID a couple years from now. He still wants a fair pay with a bridge, and that's why there's an impasse.

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Agreed, and they are finally taking a stand.

It;s within every GM (and owners)Power to keep salaries reasonable, they have to do it THEMSELVES, and refuse to deal with the Sathers of the league. I was so so mad when Montreal let Glen off the Hook for Gomez,

Easier said then done i know, but if they stick to their principals and stop looking at Bettmen to fix the mess the've created, I believe it can be done.

Pay a player what he is worth, considering his role in your salary structure. It Isn;t that hard, what's hard is losing talent, and that may happen. But they have to commit to this and never waver, for any reason.

And any team who offer sheets should be blackballed, it's that simple,

The % of revenue player's make is totally of out wack, Crosby is worth what he is payed others not so much.

I believe in the wrestling model, give the players a downside guarantee (They won't make less that this number) But everything else should be performance driven , if a player does not deliver six million worth of hockey the should not be payed that amount.

Why should the owners guarantee their pay> Can the players guarantee their stat? are or how many a$$es they will put in the stands? Or merc they will sell?

The players should have to earn their money each and every year.

I am really hoping There is a Looooooog strike next CBA, the pendulum has swung in the other direction and players are taking advantage of it.

I'm not sure when the new CBA is up but I would start preparing for a league shut of of 2-3 years,

Resfuse to discuss anything with the players union until they have conceded certain points, points essential for the profitability of any business.

It's time for Hockey to be fixed both on and off the ice, I don't give a sh!t what K.O thinks Johansen's market value is based on some other stupid GM throwing's around money that isn't his.

The guy has 60 Plus points! Not 100 Not 90 Not ever 80!

And people are acting like this is the 2nd coming of Gretzky, it isn't, Johansen is really good, he isn't great.

And don't talky to me about market value, market value is a complete joke at the moment.

I say make the statement of all statements, make an offer, make it public, do not budge from the offer. Make him sign it or go to the KHL.

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I had to see who wrote the article, and of course it's Cox.

His suggestion is to pay more players less than 2 mill, and more players closer to 10 mill, effectively getting rid of the "middle class" players. That is a horrible idea. While some players are grossly overpaid (Clarkson, Bolland, etc.) there is a gradient in skill in the league and just because you're not Crosby, doesn't mean you should get paid the same as a 3rd/4th liner.

With regards to the star players, I think they are overpaid to. Why should Crosby get 12 million? He may be the best player on earth right now, but what difference does it make to his life to make 12 mill compared to 10 mill or, heaven forbid, only a 7 figure salary.

The real reason that the too many average players are getting 2-4 million is because the top players are paid too much. This drives the salary of every player up because the scale is shifted up. The solution isn't to create a huge gulf in salaries where it jumps from 2 million to 10 million with few players in between, but to bring the salaries of the top players back down so everyone is paid reasonably.

Agreed.

In before the stupid communists/socialists/leftist comments.

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He has one 30+ goal season. I don't care about potential. There is no reason why he can't sign for 2 seasons at around 5mil just to prove he can keep it up.

I don't see any reason why not either, except Columbus is only offering 2 years at $3M. No idea what $$ Johansen's camp asked for with their 2 year offer, but I'd think they'd take around $5M, maybe a little less.

But I've been discussing this a few times already, in the multiple threads we now have on Johansen.

The original:

[Report] Johansen and CBJ far apart on a new deal

The other recent threads:

Johansen extorting the Blue Jackets?

John Davidson takes shots at Kurt Overhardt

And there's even this one the OP created back in July:

[Report] Jackets-Johansen make "significant progress

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He has one 30+ goal season. I don't care about potential. There is no reason why he can't sign for 2 seasons at around 5mil just to prove he can keep it up.

It's not that simple frankly. He had a hell of a lot more than a 30 goal season. Look at the sum of it (I've posted the rest of his production in the other thread) and you have a franchise player's season.

And the obvious counterpoint is that he did it for an ELC cap hit.

So, the other side of the coin is that the CBJ just got their relative freebie franchise player season already, and now coming back with a two year bridge at half the cap hit he is worth is pretty much an utter joke.

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No way. In the new CBA era, Johansen could get 7-8M easy in a couple years if he continues to up his production, which seems pretty likely that he will.

It's in Johansen's best interest not to sign a long-term deal now and sign a bridge so that he can get PAID a couple years from now. He still wants a fair pay with a bridge, and that's why there's an impasse.

Yes, I'd agree that it would be most smart for him to take a lower pay for a bridge contract, then reel in the dough when he's proven that he can do it for more than one year.

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