Sports

On eve of season opener, Johansen happy to return to Blue Jackets, wants to play right away

  • FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2014 file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets' Mark Letestu plays against the Nashville Predators in a preseason NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. After a tumultuous training camp, the Columbus Blue Jackets open their season on Thursday night, Oct. 9, 2014,  at Buffalo. They may be without several of their top players, with several rookies and newcomers joining steady veterans Letestu, Cam Atkinson and Jack Johnson. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2014 file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets' Mark Letestu plays against the Nashville Predators in a preseason NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. After a tumultuous training camp, the Columbus Blue Jackets open their season on Thursday night, Oct. 9, 2014, at Buffalo. They may be without several of their top players, with several rookies and newcomers joining steady veterans Letestu, Cam Atkinson and Jack Johnson. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson (7) moves the puck against Carolina Hurricanes' Carter Sandlak (72) in a preseason NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. After a tumultuous training camp, the Columbus Blue Jackets open their season on Thursday night, Oct. 9, 2014,  at Buffalo. They may be without several of their top players, with several rookies and newcomers joining steady veterans Johnson, Cam Atkinson and Mark Letestu. (AP Photo/Mike Munden, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson (7) moves the puck against Carolina Hurricanes' Carter Sandlak (72) in a preseason NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. After a tumultuous training camp, the Columbus Blue Jackets open their season on Thursday night, Oct. 9, 2014, at Buffalo. They may be without several of their top players, with several rookies and newcomers joining steady veterans Johnson, Cam Atkinson and Mark Letestu. (AP Photo/Mike Munden, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2014 file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets' Cam Atkinson plays against the Pittsburgh Penguins during an NHL preseason hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. After a tumultuous training camp, the Columbus Blue Jackets open their season on Thursday night at Buffalo. They may be without several of their top players, with several rookies and newcomers joining steady veterans Atkinson, Mark Letestu and Jack Johnson. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2014 file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets' Cam Atkinson plays against the Pittsburgh Penguins during an NHL preseason hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. After a tumultuous training camp, the Columbus Blue Jackets open their season on Thursday night at Buffalo. They may be without several of their top players, with several rookies and newcomers joining steady veterans Atkinson, Mark Letestu and Jack Johnson. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)  (The Associated Press)

Sporting a scraggly beard and long hair, Ryan Johansen has returned to the ice for the Columbus Blue Jackets after missing most of training camp during a contract holdout.

Johansen took part in the club's final practice on Wednesday before its season opener Thursday night at Buffalo.

Coach Todd Richards has expressed concerns about Johansen's conditioning and has yet to make up his mind whether the Blue Jackets' leading scorer last year will play against the Sabres.

The 22-year-old Johansen, who signed a 3-year, $12-million contract on Monday, was kidded by several of his teammates when he walked into a morning meeting a day after flying in from his native Canada.