Defenseman Jack Johnson is headed back to the Colorado Avalanche. He was part of the team last season as the Avs won the Stanley Cup, but he signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, joining a team that is in the starting stages of a major rebuild. The Chicago Blackhawks announced the trade on Sunday, sending a special thank you to the veteran defenseman for his time in Chicago. The Blackhawks receive Andreas Englund in return and he is expected to join the team on their current road trip.
Johnson was rumored as a potential trade candidate out of Chicago. He’s a pending UFA on a contract that sees him making $950K as a cap hit. This was an affordable deal for the Avalanche, who will go with a player they know well who can add minutes and depth on their back end. While he’s not been the most productive player this season, he’s a locker-room leader and this move is likely one done by GM Joe Sakic to steady the team’s blue line with a veteran who has playoff experience. Some fans aren’t happy the Avs gave up Englund to get the deal done. Englund 27, had three assists in 36 games for Colorado this season.
The Avalanche (33-19-5) are tied with the Winnipeg Jets for third in the Central Division, one point behind the Minnesota Wild for second, and three points behind the Dallas Stars for first.
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