Boston Bruins v Winnipeg Jets

UFA of the Day: Chad Johnson


Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Chad Johnson

With Boston’s signing of Niklas Svedberg, Johnson’s time as Bruin is effectively over. The 28-year-old is coming off a solid season (17-4-3, .925) as Tuukka Rask’s backup, but will now have to join a crowded group of UFA goalies, all looking for a limited number of spots.

“I am excited for the next opportunity to prove more and more,” said Johnson in an email to CSN New England. “I love to win, and be a part of a winning environment. I obviously would love to be able to help a team win a lot of hockey games. I am looking for a chance to really have an important role with a team.”

Ideally, Johnson would like to be in a situation where he could at least challenge for the starting job. The Washington Capitals are looking for a backup to Braden Holtby, who still has a few things to prove. The Jets don’t yet have a backup for Ondrej Pavelec, the subject of intense scrutiny in Winnipeg. Calgary is perhaps another option. Maybe Dallas, too.

The challenge for Johnson, or should we say for his agent, will be convincing a team that he’s a better option than Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, Thomas Greiss, Justin Peters, Tim Thomas, Ray Emery, and the list goes on. Because despite Johnson’s solid 2013-14, he’s only had one real season in the NHL. And besides a few appearances versus the Kings, his game log isn’t exactly loaded with top-quality opponents. Plus, he had the luxury of playing behind the Bruins’ defense.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.