Rarely do you see a true win-win trade in sports, but it seems like swap of Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones is trending that way.
Jones has turned into an All-Star in Columbus and is just 22, and he seemingly possesses the tools to become a consistent standout defensemen in the league with the Blue Jackets.
Then there's Johansen, who helped Nashville get within two games of hoisting the Stanley Cup last season. His reward? A new contract that he agreed to today with the Predators, which will reportedly pay him $64 million over an eight-year span and making him one of the highest paid players in the game.
Johansen was a big part of Nashville's success last year with 14 goals and 47 points, giving him a third straight season with 45-plus assists. In the postseason, he was a horse, playing more than 20 minutes per game and posting a 3-10-13 line with a plus-12 rating in 14 games.
The deal, which does not include a no-movement clause, also seems to cement Nashville as a perennial contender. The Predators have Johansen, Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Roman Josi and the one and only PK Subban locked up long term. Not bad.
It also avoided the kind of contract dispute that seemed to foreshadow Johansen's departure in Columbus. His 2014 contract negotiations with Columbus were contentious as Johansen wanted more than a bridge deal and the Jackets pushed for a shorter term, which led to a short-lived holdout going into that season.
Back in the current term, Columbus might be winning the Johansen-Jones deal on a value basis, though. Jones is signed with the team through 2021-22 at a cap hit of $5.4 per year, which looks like it will end up being a steal for one of the most versatile and athletic defensemen in the game.
In fact, the Jones deal is such that it has his current Columbus teammates looking to Johansen for a handout.
@RyanJohansen19 love you bro congrats.. can't wait for my present
— Cam Atkinson (@CamAtkinson13) July 28, 2017
OK, we kid, but one of the more fascinating trades in recent NHL history really has worked for both teams. And with each seemingly on the rise, perhaps they'll be battling more and more in the future.