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2010 NHL Free Agency: Predators sign D Aaron Johnson to two-way deal

Aug 31, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

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aaronjohnsonhug.jpgThe Nashville Predators made a depth signing today, signing 27-year-old defenseman Aaron Johnson to a one-year deal. The team reports that it is a two-way contract worth $550K at the NHL level and $105K when he plays in the AHL.

Johnson, 27 (4/30/83), split the 2009-10 season between Calgary (22 games) and Edmonton (19 games), posting a career high in goals (4) while tying a personal best in points (10). The 6-1, 208-pounder also a averaged career high 15:39 of ice time a season ago. In an NHL career that started in 2003-04 the Port Hawkesbury, N.S., native has racked up 46 points (14g-32a) and 191 penalty minutes in 225 games with the Flames, Oilers, Chicago, N.Y. Islanders and Columbus.

According to the scouting reports by The Hockey News, Johnson is noted for being better in the offensive end than his own zone. He’s a fairly large player (listed at 6’1″, 211 lbs.) and saw a big jump in minutes when he switched from the Flames (about 12 minutes per game) to the Oilers (a little bit more than 19 minutes per game).

From the looks of things, Johnson might have a chance to be a seventh defenseman (or useful minor leaguer) for the Predators. The team might not hit high marks for flashy play, but they gave the Chicago Blackhawks genuine headaches in the first round of the playoffs and always seem to scrap their way to relevance.

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