Pittsburgh Hockey Now has confirmed Jack Johnson will sign a contract Sunday with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The terms of the deal cannot be discussed until Sunday, but a source connected to the Penguins front office confirmed it will be five years, and between $16.5 million and $17.5 million. The average annual cap hit will be $3 to $3.5 million.
This season, Johnson, 31, had 11 points (3g, 8a) in 77 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was a down for Johnson, who scored 23 (5g, 18a) points in 2016-17. Johnson found himself on the outs with head coach John Tortorella, and his ice time dipped below 20 minutes per game for the first time in his 11 year career. For those who follow advanced analytics, Johnson’s Corsi rating was five percent below the team average.
Johnson signed a seven-year, $30.5 million dollar contract with the L.A. Kings in 2011, but was traded at midseason to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Johnson was dealt for Jeff Carter and a first-round pick.
Johnson is a long time friend of Sidney Crosby. The pair were juniors on the powerful 2003 St. Mary-Shattuck team which won the USA Hockey Tier I 17 & Under National Championship. Crosby then played for Rimouski of the QMJHL, while Johnson played for the US U-18 National team, then the University of Michigan.
Stick tap to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Mark Madden who had the information first. Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s source is independent of their stories.