According to reports from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Mark Madden of 105.9 WXDX FM, free agent Jack Johnson has agreed to sign a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The deal is reported to be a five-year deal worth about $16 million or an AAV (cap hit) of between $3 million – $3.5 million per season. The deal can not be made official until July 1st.
Defenseman Jack Johnson has agreed to a 5-yr deal w/the Penguins. Will become official Sunday when NHL free agency officially begins. For more, tune in to @1059theX .
— Mark Madden (@MarkMaddenX) June 27, 2018
.@MarkMaddenX first reported that the Penguins intend to sign defenseman Jack Johnson Sunday to a five-year deal. Confirming that. Source says it will be in the $16 million range total (between $3-$3.5 million AAV).
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) June 27, 2018
Report: Pittsburgh Penguins To Sign Defenseman Jack Johnson
Johnson played seven seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, all while wearing an ‘A’. Averaging just a couple seconds under 23 and a half minutes a game in those seven years, Johnson has been a staple of the team’s defence. His offence peaked in 2014-15. Since then, Johnson hasn’t been able to net even 25 points. This season followed that pattern, with Johnson scoring just three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 77 games. He also added 22 minutes in penalties. Johnson’s possession numbers included a 47.7 percent Corsi and a -5.4 relative Corsi. Johnson put up one goal and one assist in five games, as the Blue Jackets lost in the first round to the Washington Capitals.
Johnson has scored 66 goals and 212 assists for 278 points in 788 career games. He has also added 21 points in 23 career playoff games.
The Jackets brought in Johnson in 2011. They sent away Jeff Carter, and brought in Johnson and a first-round pick. The Los Angeles Kings brought in Johnson and Oleg Tverdovsky from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Tim Gleason and Eric Belanger. In five years with L.A. Johnson totalled 124 points.
What this Means
Despite his low scoring, Johnson was still a key player in Columbus. While his minutes were down this year, he was still amongst the top four most used defencemen in terms of ice-time. Johnson, averaging just under 20 minutes a game this year, had recently been moved down to the third pairing in Columbus.
It was reported on January 12th that Johnson had requested a trade from the Columbus organization. The lack of playing time and personal success can seemingly be blamed for his departure. He was making just over $4.3 million with the Blue Jackets.
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TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 08: Columbus Blue Jackets Defenceman Jack Johnson (7) in warm-ups prior to the regular season NHL game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs on January 8, 2018, at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)