The Colorado Avalanche announced Wednesday afternoon that they had signed 34 year old Jack Johnson to a Professional Tryout Contract. The veteran defender will look to break into a team full of youth this fall.
A questionable move by Joe Sakic, considering that Johnson is an old character and doesn’t fit the Avs system of speed and finesse on the blue line. It feels somewhat similar to the trade deadline acquisition of Patrick Nemeth last season.
Johnson was drafted way back in 2005 to the Carolina Hurricanes third overall but then shipped to LA to play for the Kings. He spent six years in the Hollywood Hills before going to Columbus for seven seasons, Pittsburgh for two years, and a season-long stint with the Rangers last year.
In his 950 career games, he has 71G, 232A and a -119. Obviously, these numbers are not the greatest you’ll see and his general level of play has gone down significantly since his cup-winning days in LA.
Sakic might be looking to bring in more playoff and veteran experience to his youthful defense. While the experiment failed last season with Nemeth, Sakic will be looking to get more out of Johnson in training camp and the beginning of the season coming up soon.
Whether or not Johnson earns a spot on the team or ends up being a two-way player with the Eagles is unknown at the moment. Time will tell on how he performs in training camp and preseason games coming up in a few weeks time.
If he manages to sneak into the team, the cap space the Avs have will be even more limited than what it already is. Whatever has Joe has working up his sleeve, let’s hope it works itself to try and turn around Johnson’s downfall.