The Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins have signed goaltender Brent Johnson to a one-year contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
Johnson, 32, played 21 games with the Washington Capitals, finishing with a record of 12-6-2 during the 2008-09 season. The veteran goaltender recorded a .908 save percentage along with a 2.81 goals-against average.
Salary details to follow once announced, but expect them to be low.
Johnson's a great addition for the Penguins, with 240 NHL games and parts of nine seasons under his belt, Johnny's been around the block a time or too. Johnny also provides a measure of comfort knowing that if Marc-Andre Fleury gets injured for the third consectutive season, the top two goalies in the organization won't be John Curry and Brad Thiessen (combined NHL experience: 2 starts).
Johnson's record is 17-12-2 in the past two seasons, so he is a guy who can come in and be expected to play well on night's when Fleury needs a rest. Johnson's battled some injuries lately and hasn't been able to stay 100% healthy in Washington. So even though he can come in and do a respectable job, he does have some durability concerns of his own.
Another interesting, yet to be seen development will be if the Pens plan on allowing Curry and Johnson to have an open competition for the backup job. Would they risk exposing Johnson to waivers before the season starts if the younger Curry proves to have a stronger training camp? We'll see how it plays out, but Pittsburgh has done well to fill a potentially crippling hole in the depth chart with the signing of Brent Johnson.
As an aside, JP and I are informally tracking all the NHL players who've been teammates of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Johnny becomes the fourth man in the club, joining Matt Cooke, Rico Fata and Kris Beech. I still contend that Beech's inclusion is unwarranted, since he and Crosby never appeared in a game together, but they were techinically on the same team for a period of time, so we'll count it.