The Buffalo Sabres have invited an old friend back into the crease, as the team announced that they have signed goaltender Chad Johnson to a one-year, $2.5MM contract. Johnson enjoyed the best season of his career with Buffalo back in 2015-16, posting .920 save percentage and 2.36 GAA in a career-high 45 appearances. However, he left last off-season to chase a larger role with the Calgary Flames that never really came to fruition. He’ll head back to Buffalo now and his substantial salary indicates that the Sabres are prepared to give him a significant role alongside Robin Lehner.
Lehner made 58 starts in 2016-17, significantly more than when he shared the net with Johnson the year before and made just 21 starts. However, even in a reduced role, Johnson has still proven he can be a valuable asset. Johnson posted career bests in save percentage (.925) and goals against average (2.10) as the backup to Tuukka Rask with the Boston Bruins in 2013-14. No matter what role he plays, Johnson could be a shrewd acquisition for new Buffalo GM Jason Botterill in his second stint with the Sabres.