The Penguins signed ex-Capitals and Blues goaltender Brent Johnson to a one-year, $525,000 contract. It’s a one-way deal, so barring any injuries, Johnson will back up Marc-Andre Fleury when the season begins, allowing John Curry to start at Wilkes-Barre.
Johnson is coming off hip surgery but is still only 32, and has plenty of NHL experience over the past couple years; the Pens were rumored to be looking at Devils backup Kevin Weekes as well, but Weekes is three years older than Johnson and has played about negative two games in his last three NHL seasons, failing to even grab playing time when Martin Brodeur missed more than half the 2008-09 season.
The deal is a minimal commitment to someone who should be an upgrade over Dany Sabourin and Mathieu Garon, and fills out the Pens’ major-league roster with about $1.8 million in cap space left over for callups or mid-season finagling. After all, when you’ve got a franchise goalie locked in to a lengthy, expensive contract, it’d be pretty frickin’ stupid to blow $2.5 million a year on a veteran backup. I mean, who’d do something like that? It’d be a total admission of mismanagement. Or possibly a conspiracy by an ex-backup goalie turned general manager who’s obsessed with backup goalies. Either way, it’s not something I could ever see an actual NHL organization doing, cause it’d be a huge waste.
Tags: Brent Johnson