The Nashville Predators dominated the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, but the biggest story to come out of the matchup was a quote from Ryan Johansen a day before the forward faced his old team.
Johansen spoke with the Columbus Dispatch about his time with the Blue Jackets and the trade which sent him to the Predators. His answers were surprisingly candid, but some Predators fans may not appreciate his comments.
I’ll say this: I wish I was still a Blue Jacket. Let me make sure I’m wording this the right way. (pauses) I wish we didn’t start the season 0-8. I wish we were in the playoffs. I wish we had a great year. I wish we were all still together. But that’s professional sports. It happens, and when a team struggles there are trades. Maybe I felt like it wouldn’t be me that’s going (to get traded), but it was. I loved more than anything else in the world being a Blue Jacket. But now I’m here. And since they didn’t believe that I could be a big piece of the franchise in Columbus any more, I love being a Nashville Predator.
Some Predators fans may not like Johansen’s comments, but it’s important to remember the bigger picture. Johansen isn’t dissing his current team, but he’s expressing feelings that a large majority of players who have been traded likely feel. He wishes things would have worked out with the Blue Jackets and his old group of friends, but he is welcoming a new opportunity with a new group.
It’s actually quite refreshing to hear a player answer this honestly when discussing a trade. You can tell he’s choosing his words carefully (as noted by the pause after his initial comment) and that there’s a lot of emotion involved.
Hopefully the trade ends up being one which both teams look back at positively.