ATLANTA - JANUARY 07: Goaltender Chad Johnson #29 of the New York Rangers saves a shot by Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the Atlanta Thrashers during a shootout at Philips Arena on January 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
When the Boston Bruins signed 24-year-old goaltender Niklas Svedberg to a one-year, one-way contract on Monday, it became obvious that veteran backup Chad Johnson probably wouldn’t be returning to the Black and Gold for the 2014-15 season.
Johnson confirmed that he will leave the Bruins on Monday, via The Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin:
Chad Johnson acknowledges that he won't be back. Via text: "It's unfortunate for me because I loved everything about Boston and the Bruins."— Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) June 23, 2014
Johnson: "With how tight the cap is in Boston ... as well as what the goalie market for a guy like myself is nothing really could work out."— Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) June 23, 2014
Svedberg likely will back up Vezina Trophy finalist Tuukka Rask next season and Johnson will go to the open market as an unrestricted free agent. He can sign with a new team when free agency begins July 1. Johnson earned $600,000 on a one-year deal last season.
He should receive a fair amount of interest as a UFA. The 28-year-old was one of the NHL’s best backup netminders in 2013-14 with a 17-4-3 record, a .925 save percentage and a 2.10 goals against average. Did Johnson post those stellar numbers because of his talent or the excellent group of defensemen in front of him? It’s probably a little of both, but there’s no question that he bailed the B’s out several times when they failed to play well in the defensive zone.
There are a few teams that need a backup goaltender and might sign one in free agency, including the New York Islanders.Filed under: Boston Bruins, Nicholas Goss, Top Stories