Flames sign G Chad Johnson (1 year, $1.7m AAV)

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(Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports)

The Calgary Flames continue to revamp their goaltending. Per multiple Twitter reports, the club has signed veteran back-up Chad Johnson to a one-year deal worth $1.7 million.

Almost a modern-day Rick Tabaracci, Johnson is a back-up’s back-up. A 30-year-old product of Saskatoon, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006 but never played in their organization. After finishing up four years at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, he played spells with the New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres.

All-told, he’s played 101 NHL games and posted a pretty good 50-30-11 record with a 2.39 goals against average and .917 save percentage and a .925 even-strength save percentage.

The Flames paid $4.5 million to Jonas Hiller alone last year and got…not great goaltending. For 2016-17, they’re spending $4.2 million combined for both Johnson and Brian Elliott.

Well played, Mr. Treliving. Well played.

  • Stu Cazz

    Great signing…Calgary kid who wants to play here…can easily play 25-35 games and get you wins…cheap contract low risk and nicely fills a gap….nice BT!

  • RKD

    I like this signing, Johnson is a solid goalie. With him and Elliott I’m pretty sure the Flames are making the playoffs. They just need to clean up their special teams a lot. Very low risk and super cheap only 1 year deals so BT can wait and see if he wants to extend both guys next season, or just one or go after a bigger fish next summer.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      One year deal is perfect for Gillies to light it up in the AHL, and transition to the NHL next year. I would not be surprised if the sign a high profile goalie next year or extend Elliott if he has a good year.

  • KiLLKiND

    I surprisingly like the signing. We now have two solid options at the NHL level, for less than we spent on one goalie last year. This move could also turn out to be a valuable trade asset come trade deadline as a team without a good backup option would like to soldify their back end. That is assuming Ortio makes enough progress to justify tradeing him. Also what is our plan for him now next year?

    NHL Elliot – Johnson
    AHL Gilles – Rittich
    ECHL McDonald – Random/Ortio?

    Or does this mean Ortio is on his way out, as once again we are in the same postion as last year. If the plan is to have Ortio and Gilles tandem in the AHL while McDonald and Rittich are in the ECHL I think that would be spreading the starts pretty thin for goalies that all have pretty good potential. Could result in one goalie really stepping it up and earning an NHL backup position or it could really backfire like last year.

      • Stu Cazz

        I think you may be confused again..do you not mean you wonder how the organization really wanted Ortio. He is in his mid twenties and still shows great inconsistency at the NHL level….how much tolerance is needed…hence the changes…..

          • piscera.infada

            For the record, I’m not arguing that Johnson is an upgrade. He is. Nor am I saying Ortio was the right call for the Flames.

            I’m simply stating that I’ve thought since Ortio’s treatment by Hartley early in the season, he was probably just as done with the organization as the organization probably was with him.

          • KiLLKiND

            I would argue Johnson is a short term upgrade over Ortio. If Ortio develops well then he would have far more long term value. If he leaves than I hope the Flames management is willing to look at bringing up Gilles next year as a backup/tandem with whoever is our starter next year.

            I also don’t quite agree that Ortio is definitely gone. Rumours have Calgary still interested in signing him and having him and Gilles in Stockton next year would really help the Heat. They could have confidence in whoever is in net and focus more on playing, without worrying that one of the many goalies we used last year wouldn’t be on his game. Ortio still has value and if they want to have him and Gilles duel it out next year, it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

            On a side note all these goalies on 1 year contracts is hard for the fanbase to get attached to one guy. I being a goalie always want to buy a jersey with a goalie’s name on the back, but have been unwilling to spend that much money when I expect the goalie to be gone in a year.

          • Kevin R

            I am actually quite pleased going with this tandem. I also love that they are both 1 year & leaves us with a lot of options that will open up next year.

            Also happy we have Brouwer, we needed a bonafide RW really bad.

            So far so good.

    • KiLLKiND

      What’s wrong with that signing he is only $800k per year, has great stats in the AHL if they want to bring up Brossoit and has done pretty well in Detoroit and Boston. He is a really low risk meiduim reward signing. Imagine if we signed Raymond for that price. We would never buy him out and would happily accept his level of play for that price. I can’t say it is a bad signing because it is signing a backup goalie for the cheapest contract they could on a one year deal, it sounds like a great signing. He is not as good of a goalie as either of Elliot or Johnson, but we can only play one of them at a time.

  • jakethesnail

    Tre says he still is negotiating with Ortio. They really need an experienced goalie in Stockton to recall should there be an injury to Elliott or Johnson.

  • freethe flames

    I had posted what I wished would happen today:
    With @6-7m to spend at FA BT needs to get the best bang for his money; which probably means no big fish for the Flames and I’m okay with that. I would rather he come away with 4 NHL players that make us better than overpay for someone. Next year when he has cap space he can look at the big contracts.

    If we came away from FA with: 1 of these 3 defenders signed; Nakladal, Wiercoich(800,000), or Trotman(600) for 2 or 3 years.

    2/3 of these forwards; Marchessault, Smith-Pelly(1.3), B Bennett(725), Connolley(850), Jooris or Pirri again for 2-3 years.

    and a back up goalie: Ortio, Johnson(1.7), Enroth or ???

    I would see this FA as a good one. Also if homegrown Joe signed for @2.2m I would be happy but I suspect he gets a better offer than that.

    We could have had Wiercioch, Trotman, Smith-Pelly, Bennett, Connoley and Johnson for the same price as Bouwer and Johnson.(that’s assuming they would have come here and we will never know)

    Colborne $2.5m x 2.

  • The Beej

    Thinking Colborne + Connolly might have brought more value than Brouwer as well.

    Then again I know we need a player like Brouwer… just dont like the age/term and the cap hit doesnt bring a ton of value

    • FeyWest

      I just didn’t like seeing Colborne skating circles around the net and then lose the puck, or try entering the zone and the play falling apart. If he played using his body a lot more he would have been much better and worth resigning, Brouwer (albeit older) I think is what we really needed and didn’t overpay by too much. 1/1 too much but I think adds to our weak RW depth significantly. Can’t really argue with your concerns though.

    • everton fc

      Brouwer at 4mill may have been too much. Vanek and Connolly at 3.5mill… Issues on right side better, short term.

      Alas…. Welcome Troy Brouwer. Please earn your salary.

  • WildfireOne

    When was the last time we didn’t have a Finn guarding the twine? But I can see how it will help short-term. Long-term, Ortio better not turn into Turku 2.0.

    My biggest regret over seeing Ortio depart is that it severs the last link to Kipper. Fond memories of scorpion saves and the like.

  • Joe Flames

    I watched Chad Ochocinco play in Buffalo last year, he is talented. Great signing.

    He can start for a while if Elliott gets hurt too. Nice to not have to worry about goaltending this year.