He wasn’t coming back to Boston after the Bruins signed young Swedish goaltender Niklas Svedberg to a one-way, one-year deal, but Chad Johnson isn’t moving all that far away either.
The former B’s backup goaltender has signed a two-year, $2.6 million deal with the New York Islanders, and will be sharing goaltending duties on the Island with Jaroslav Halak for the next couple of years. That’s about twice the annual salary that the cap-strapped B’s will pay Svedberg as Tuukka Rask’s understudy next season.
The 28-year-old Johnson spent last season with the Boston Bruins after bouncing up and down in the Rangers and Coyotes organizations, and provided solid backup work behind Tuukka Rask when the Vezina Trophy winner hit a bit of a wall in January. In 27 games, Johnson had a .925 save percentage and went 17-4-3 while earning himself a solid NHL gig one year after Anton Khudobin similarly used the B’s backup job to get himself a solid goaltending job in Carolina.
Johnson will get a chance for plenty of playing time sharing duties with Halak, and potentially stabilizing what’s been a very volatile goaltending situation with the Islanders over the last few years.
Here’s what Johnson had to say about his future in an email to CSNNE.com a couple of weeks ago:
“I am very grateful for the opportunity Peter [Chiarelli], as well as Claude [Julien], gave me last year. They had a lot of confidence in me [despite the] very little experience I had at the NHL level. I am very grateful for the opportunity. I loved the city, and the passion of the fans for Bruins hockey,” wrote Johnson. “[It was] second to none in the NHL. Moving forward, I am excited for the next opportunity to prove more and more. 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.”
Arthur Staple of Newsday was the first to report the news that Johnson will be with the Isles for the next couple of seasons.