First Fanpost, and I wanted to make it on a topic that I though was really curious over the last few days.
And that my friends, is the Plight of Ryan Johansen.
He was one of the most interesting players I watched toward the end of the season and into the playoffs. He seemed to do everything and more that the Blue Jackets needed him to do, and they put up a strong fight against the Pens in the first round of the playoffs. The way that team played, that series could easily have gone either way, and I though Johansen was a big part of that.
However, the news in the last week is that both sides are very far apart on a deal (link). The BJs (haha, gets me and my juvenile mind every time) want to get him on a Bridge deal for two years. This gives a budding playoff team flexibility to make more moves, bring better players in, have the long term cap space, and less risk that Ryan will fail to live up to expectations. There have also been a few "effort level" questions surrounding him, and it sounds like Columbus thinks the shorter contract will provide more motivation for the budding star, of which the link above outlines shortly and nicely.
Ryan on the other hand, thinks he has played his way into a better contract. Coming off of a 33 goal season where he played all 82 games, he may have a point. He's not going to get super star money by any means, and while his defense is questionable, his quality of competition was the best on the team, so he had some rough going that could have brought his Corsi % down. However, his 9.8 shots per game show hes not afraid to pull the trigger, and as a personal believer in "Get Pucks to the Net" I really liked his play.
As an RFA, Johansen is available other teams right now, and could possibly sign some sort of offer sheet. The fun part of this is that Columbus has repeatedly stated they are willing to sign any offer sheet that is presented.
But would they really? I think the answer is no, and it sucks for Johansen that this is the case. The main reason is what teams would have to give up to get him, and that is draft picks in next years draft. Here's the best outline of the RFA compensation i could find, from the Leafs SB nation site (made me feel a bit dirty linking to it). The key number is $3,364,391 million dollars, because anything higher than that and you are giving up AT MINIMUM a first and a third.
Now I'm not the best at predicting/analyzing contracts. I tracked down DBTB early this season, and was introduced to the Arm-Chair GM life then, as well as all the fun advanced stats some of you talk about on a regular basis (also... extraskater is amazing). But my thinking is that a team that wanted Johansen would have to meet his multi-year requests with a decent amount of $$ to go along with it. I would also venture to say that it would be close to this $3.3 mil mark, as I was thinking about $3 mil myself.
This brings us to the crux of my post, which is I don't see teams being likely to throw an offer sheet down and risk losing picks in what is supposed to be a stacked and deep draft class. Even with the strides made last year, Columbus is by no means a lock anywhere, and I think they would be happy to continue to build via the draft for a year or two. Additionally, any teams that are in win now mode likely don't have the cap space for a deal Johansen would sign, or have traded draft picks away in recent years for other rentals/keepers and need to hold on to a few to keep the prospect system from being empty. Johansen is an interesting player, but is he worth the potential boon of two picks in a loaded draft? I don't know, but I also don't know if a GM would take a risk at it. I also think it highly unlikely that any team working on rebuilding (aka us, which was how i first started thinking of this all) wants to ditch any 2015 draft picks, and will likely not send an offer sheet Johansen's way.
So I think he is in between a rock and a hard place. I sadly think he will end up signing a bridge deal, and go back grudgingly to the Blue Jackets. However, it would be very interesting how much ill will he harbors if this were to happen, as I think that two years from now will be a very different scenario. I think this because there will have been more time for GMs to become accustomed to the new CBA, Johansen will be a more/less proven commodity, and we will have been able to get a slight idea how much of an impact the 2015 draft class really has.
So there we go, Fanpost #1 is in the books. Please send any/all critique my way on how I used stats/arm-charing the GM roll, as I'm having a good bit of fun doing so and like hearing everyone's thoughts. And let me know what you think of our focus subject Ryan Johansen and the situation he is in. Also, if anyone could provide information on how exactly RFA pick compensation works when a team has the rights to multiple draft picks in the same round that would be awesome!