We reported this morning that The Athletic's Aaron Portzline reported that Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson has requested a trade, mainly because he is currently unsatisfied with his role on the team. The 31-year-old blueliner said he would like to be traded because of the fact he is going to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
As Portzline said, Johnson wants to sign a new, multiyear deal, but believes his role with the Jackets isn't important enough to land the contract he deserves.
But Johnson, who turns 31 on Saturday, is feeling enormous pressure to sign a multiyear contract when he hits unrestricted free agency July 1.
His well-publicized bankruptcy four years ago has cut sharply into his life savings, such that Johnson will need his next contract — and perhaps another one after that — to set up him and his family for the years after his career."
The reporter added that Johnson wouldn't have made the trade request if he didn't become a free agent at the end of the season.
Now a bunch of NHL analysts and reporters commented on this surprising news over the last few hours. Former NHL scout Grant McCagg issued a huge warning to teams hoping to acquire the veteran defenseman:
Let's just say that was clear enough. Johnson, who was selected third overall in the 2005 draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, played a total of 757 career NHL games with the Los Angeles King and the Blue Jackets. He scored a total of 274 points, and added 440 penalty minutes.
He is currently in the last season of a seven-year, $30.5 million contract.