Just yesterday we heard that there was a “vast” gap between Josh Anderson and the Columbus Blue Jackets on the young forward’s next contract, and now it seems negotiations have come to a halt altogether. Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch quotes Anderson’s agent Darren Ferris, who says talks have stopped and that they are evaluating their options.
Anderson of course is a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract, but up until recently it had seemed like everything was progressing towards a new deal. The Blue Jackets have begun camp without him, and head coach John Tortorella has been clear that he could lose his spot if he misses enough time. Though it’s hard to see Anderson actually being left out of the lineup after scoring 17 goals last year, Tortorella is notoriously loyal to the players who work hard for him and show up on a daily basis. It’s not exactly Anderson’s fault that he’s not in camp, but every day he misses gives a chance to someone else.
In his absence, young players like Sonny Milano, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Tyler Motte will all get a chance to establish themselves alongside some of the regulars, and impress Tortorella enough to keep them around. While Anderson provides a different game than any of those three, he’ll have to fight hard to re-establish himself whenever the contract negotiations do end.