2010 NHL Free Agency: Predators sign D Aaron Johnson to two-way deal

aaronjohnsonhug.jpgThe Nashville Predators made a depth signing today, signing 27-year-old defenseman Aaron Johnson to a one-year deal. The team reports that it is a two-way contract worth $550K at the NHL level and $105K when he plays in the AHL.

Johnson, 27 (4/30/83), split the 2009-10 season between Calgary (22 games) and Edmonton (19 games), posting a career high in goals (4) while tying a personal best in points (10). The 6-1, 208-pounder also a averaged career high 15:39 of ice time a season ago. In an NHL career that started in 2003-04 the Port Hawkesbury, N.S., native has racked up 46 points (14g-32a) and 191 penalty minutes in 225 games with the Flames, Oilers, Chicago, N.Y. Islanders and Columbus.

According to the scouting reports by The Hockey News, Johnson is noted for being better in the offensive end than his own zone. He’s a fairly large player (listed at 6’1″, 211 lbs.) and saw a big jump in minutes when he switched from the Flames (about 12 minutes per game) to the Oilers (a little bit more than 19 minutes per game).

From the looks of things, Johnson might have a chance to be a seventh defenseman (or useful minor leaguer) for the Predators. The team might not hit high marks for flashy play, but they gave the Chicago Blackhawks genuine headaches in the first round of the playoffs and always seem to scrap their way to relevance.

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    Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

    Mike Richards

    The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

    Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

    Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

    “Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

    Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

    • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
    • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
    • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

    … Yeah.

    Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

    Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

    Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

    Jonathan Quick

    Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

    Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

    Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

    Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


    A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

    Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

    It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


    After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

    Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.