Johnson skates in first practice with the Bruins

Johnson skates in first practice with the Bruins
January 11, 2013, 12:00 am
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Aaron Johnson admits that he didnt really have much of a connection to Boston or the Bruins organization when he signed with the team over the summer.
The 29-year-old has bounced between the Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders over the last nine years, but seemed to finally found a home in Columbus last season. Johnson put up a career-high 16 points in 56 games taking defenseman shifts with the Blue Jackets last year, but didnt hesitate to sign on the dotted line when a perennial Cup contender like the Bruins expressed some interest.
The history speaks for itself here. As long as they expressed interest it was pretty much close the door and sign the contract, said Johnson. When a team like this comes along you just want to be a part of it.
Ive been in the league for nine years, so its trying to bring a little experience while playing well defensively. Hopefully I can chip in offensively every once in a while, but my game is playing good defensive hockey.
The 6-foot-2, 211-pound Johnson skated with his Bruins teammates for the first time on Thursday at Ristuccia Arena, but officially became a member of the team when he met up with his teammates for a group dinner on Wednesday night. Johnson originally signed on with the understanding that he might be a depth defenseman vying with rookie Dougie Hamilton for a spot among the top six.
But with Adam McQuaids blood clot scare in September, theres a good chance Johnson could be in the Bruins' opening lineup on Jan. 19. 
McQuaid is gaining strength and putting back the weight lost away from the weight room for a two-month period following surgery, but may not be ready for full duty when NHL training camp opens.
Johnson is preparing to jump right into the lineup, and will need to get comfortable quickly with a week-long training camp planned.
Im just trying to take it day-by-day. We did a pretty good job of skating every day in Dallas and just doing the best that we could, said Johnson. Hopefully now we go out and have a good camp. There will be a lot of adrenaline and guys excited to play, so Im sure there will be a few missed passes and guys falling down. Its all part of it as long as were ready when the puck drops.
Johnson and his Bruins teammates wont have much choice because little more than a week from now theyll be readying to ride a 48-game regular season roller coaster that wont stop until June.