Monday, September 15, 2014

Jarmo Drops the Gloves

Aaaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch just posted an interview with Jarmo Kekalainen over on Puck Rakers in which Jarmo speaks out about the contract situation with Ryan Johansen.  In the interview, Jarmo does a couple of things.  He emphatically states that once camp starts, that it's about the team, and not individuals.  He also publicly states their comparables (Duchene, Steppan; good comparables), and he call's out Joey's agent, wondering if this is about being a record setting agent, or about Johansen's long term future?

My own personal opinion is that it is about Overhardt wanting to be a record setting agent, and pushing the envelope when he has no (zero) leverage.  He holds Joey out of camp and there is pretty much zero (0) chance that Joey repeats the 30 goals, and then where is he?  Eventually he reports late, never really gets up to speed, and scores about 20 goals.  The next year he has an injury, and scores 20 again, and the long term contract is now about a 20 goal scorer.  The $3 million now could cost him $10-15 million over the long term.

I've been watching this all summer, and pretty much no one thinks that Joey is worth the money they are asking.  This should be a deal that can get done.  It is incumbent on both sides to get it done.  The one person hurt if it doesn't get done is the player.  As a long term fan, I support the organization on this one.  Like them, I really like the player.  But the organization took a huge risk on him when they drafted him fourth overall.  At this point, the organization deserves this assurance that he is worth it.  Joey was always going to be a late bloomer, but they have paid him NHL money all along the way, and burned a year of his deal early.  He could have been riding the bus in Springfield really easily the first couple of years, but they kept him with the big club.

Joey deserves a raise, a big one.  The Jackets proposal is 2-3 times his previous salary.  When was the last time someone offered you 2-3 times your salary and you turned it down?  Sometimes these things happen, and its Joey's business to get the money he can.  He must now realize that he can't get the money he's asking.  So now is the time to get what he can.

Get this done boys.

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