The Colorado Avalanche are bringing back a piece of their Stanley Cup roster, re-acquiring Jack Johnson from the Chicago Blackhawks. Andreas Englund will be the player going back to Chicago.
Johnson, 36, certainly isn’t the player that went third overall in 2005, or even the one that scored 40 points in 2014-15 with the Columbus Blue Jackets. But given his familiarity with the Avalanche organization and success last year, it is a nice reunion for the veteran defenseman.
Colorado is missing Erik Johnson and Cale Makar, considerably limiting their defensive depth. Jack Johnson will slide into the depth chart in a similar role as he did last year, playing limited minutes whenever needed but not making much of an impact one way or another.
Giving up Englund means almost nothing for the Avalanche, and shows there wasn’t really a market for Johnson around the league. The 27-year-old has played 36 NHL games this year and 69 in his career, but is still looking for his first goal. As a pending unrestricted free agent, Englund doesn’t represent much of anything for the Blackhawks moving forward.
This effectively boils down to doing Johnson a favor, sending him back to a great team that he is comfortable with after logging some difficult minutes this year. The veteran defender was playing nearly 20 minutes a night for Chicago, more than he has since 2017. He won’t get anywhere near that much playing time in Colorado, but now has the chance to go for another long playoff run before his career winds down.
Kevin Weekes of ESPN broke the deal on Twitter.