I have a theory about guys like Mike Johnson that goes like this: because their names are somewhat common and they aren’t impact-type players, the tendency is to overlook them and their potential impact on a team. If his name were Mike Conigliaro or Mike World B Free then perhaps we’d have a better mind’s eye view when his name was mentioned.
It’s okay for fans to do it, but I wonder why this guy hasn’t been signed yet by an NHL team. You cannot tell me that some of the players who’ve already signed have more value (come on, the Oilers are down to signing AHL depth players now) and yet he’s still out there.
Johnson is coming off another nice season (scored 31 points, played the 4th toughest minutes among forwards in the entire NHL, finished 3rd among Habs forwards in plus minus with +6) and it isn’t a fluke. He earned less than $2 million last season with the Habs and based on some of the numbers being handed out this summer on players he would certainly have to be considered a man worthy of a raise.
The Oilers have the dollars to spend, and frankly looking at some of the goofy money spent by other teams perhaps Kevin Lowe was fortunate to have been shut out (save for the Garon signing) in the UFA season’s first couple of weeks.
However, Mike Johnson is available and a quality player. He’d make an excellent addition.