Mike Johnson

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.

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17 Responses to "Mike Johnson"

  1. Dennis says:

    I honestly haven’t seen this guy’s name mentioned anywhere at all. I’ve been reading some Habs coverage and there’s no mention of him. If you can find a team that needs someone to play the tough min, and we can all agree that everyone can use a guy like that, and can afford to spend money on someone that isn’t the first guy to drive the PP, well Johnson would probably be a good choice, wouldn’t he?

    Without looking, and I’ll admit that’s just laziness and it won’t allow me an extra points;), I believe the Avs had a kickass PP last year and I know they’ve got lots of room so they could afford to bring in Johnson for some mail carrying and not have to worry that they weren’t getting their money’s worth on the PP. That seems like a perfect fit.

    I’d like for the Oil to give him two or three years, most likely the former of course. Matheson usually has a line on just about everyone the Oilers could be interested in, though, and he hasn’t indicated that Johnson’s on the Oilers radar screen.

  2. Asiaoil says:

    No idea why they would not consider him – a bunch of us have been on his bandwagon for a long time. Effective inexpensive short-term option – overpay short-term if necessary a la Fedotenko in NYI.

    Unless Lowe is working on a trade that gets us a top 6 winger and a vet top 4 dman all at once without giving up a roster player (nice trick if he can pull that off) then the lack of anything happening is disturbing. Not like we have a ton of RFA to deal with or any other pressing contract issues. After last year I don’t assume a hole will get filled just because it’s obvious.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Asia: Great point about ‘assuming a hole will be filled just because it’s obvious.’

    Watching other GMs address needs in our division is becoming a little depressing quite frankly. Seems to me Lowe is still waiting for that big grand slam when maybe a few more minor moves are the right formula.

    When you’re STARTING a season with what will be close to a half dozen rookies and another 6 or so with less than 2 full season’s experience, how bad will it get when there are injuries?

    I fear the Oilers have nothing shaking.

  4. uni says:

    I’m all for a high lottery pick.

    Johnson is a guy I’ve liked since I first saw him with the Leafs. He’s not overly physical but he plays a two way game to perfection. Never did work out on the top two and lines that’s why they eventually traded him for Tucker. Still miss him, even though I think it was a good swap to get Tucker.

    I find it curious that the Wings would sign Drake over Johnson though. Drake doesn’t bring that much physically over Johnson at this point in their careers one would think.

  5. oilerdiehard says:

    I have been mentioning his name for probably 3 months now as a guy I would target once UFA season opens.

    He is still sitting out there after all this time and I find it frustrating we have not went after him. Honestly I would love to get this guy on the team.

    I have this bad feeling I am going to want put my fist through the computer when he signs in Minnesota or Columbus etc… for low money. Howson was smart enough to grab Hejda he will probably get Johnson too.

    MacT is supposed to have more say now, it is hard to believe MacT is not looking at what is left out there and nudging Kevin and whispering “get that Johnson guy for me Kevin”…

    As an unrelated side note do you think Lowe is sitting around hoping his Vanek move brings in some big RFA arb decisions and he can trade for one of these guys at that point?

  6. Dennis says:

    Every player that the Oilers don’t get is yet another player they won’t get down the line. Take Aaron Miller, for instance. I’d love to have him in our top four in order to give some protection to guys like Greene and Smid so they don’t have to be top 4 this season. But there’s no good reason for Miller to sign here, unless it’s on a huge overpay, and even if that was offered, him alone wouldn’t push us to the playoffs and as Big Georges said, there always seems to be drama in Edmonton.

    So, if I’m Johnson I might go to NYR on the somewhat cheap because they’re gonna be a good club. Fuck, if Slats is smart, he might sign Johnson for 2 or 3 years and then walk away from Avery, even though I love Avery he’s gonna be in line for a payday that will price him out of NYR given the guys they already have on the books and the guys like Lundqvist who are about to require entire chapters. Or, perhaps Johnson could go to Van on the not-so-cheap. Nonis is still looking for a screr and he has some money to spend. Johnson’s probably not the first guy he’d look at but we all know he’s useful. Of course we mentioned Col and I think Det has some money to spend on a forward too now. All good places to go for Johnson.

    But deciding to go to Edm?

    He’d have to be fucking nuts. The closest he’ll get to the playoffs is if the Esks make it back in

  7. James Mirtle says:

    I’ve been wondering what the deal is with him as well… he had such a strong season defensively that I can’t understand why Carbonneau wouldn’t want him back.

  8. PunjabiOil says:

    But deciding to go to Edm?

    He’d have to be fucking nuts. The closest he’ll get to the playoffs is if the Esks make it back in


    Nice one, Dennis

  9. Bendelson says:

    In signing Mike Johnson the Oilers would become another player softer. The most significant impact would be on minutes to players such as Pouliot, JFJ, Stortini.

    I understand how Johnson himself can help the team, but without a significant trade to get significantly tougher – I think they will be in deep trouble within the division. Mike Johnson doesn’t address this glaring problem whatsoever.

  10. Big T says:

    If we’re talking about making the team better, obviously Johnson does just that. But Lowe seems bound and determined to give the young guys ice time this season no matter how that effects their development.

    Obviously he is in the camp that players improve from ice time no matter the results. I’d rather they be placed in positions they can succeed.


  11. MetroGnome says:

    Agreed, LT. Johnson was one of the guys I was hoping Sutter was targeting for the Flames relatively weak RW position (he got Nolan instead…oh well).

    I’ve been wondering why the Oil haven’t been gathering some of the effective but under-appreciated UFA’s currently still available: Johnson, Tanabe, etc. Not necessarily sexy, impact players, but guys who, cumulatively, can make a difference and aren’t terribly pricey. I guess I don’t know if Lowe has his sights set elsewhere or has made some offers and been spurned…

  12. Chris says:

    If the Oilers were interested in winning this year they could still shore up the line-up and sign a guy like Johnson – who I was in favour of signing even before the wheels went off the bus so to speak. At this point I’m also inclined to ask – Alexi Yashin why not? He’s soft, his motivation is questionable and he’s certainly not a gritty two way player. On the other hand right now the oilers need to add some goals. Given that this team is built for two or three years in the future – why not sign Yashin for the next 2-3 years and drop 4 – 5 million on him as a stop gape measure. If we were willing to go that route with Nylander, Yashin isn’t a significantly different player. If you added a Yashin, a Johnson and a Danny Markov Edmonton could be fielding a playoff team.

  13. godot10 says:

    //I’ve been wondering why the Oil haven’t been gathering some of the effective but under-appreciated UFA’s currently still available: Johnson, Tanabe, etc.//

    Give Gilbert half a season, and he’ll be better than Tanabe, that’s why.

  14. MetroGnome says:

    Give Gilbert half a season, and he’ll be better than Tanabe, that’s why.

    I applaud your optimism but I suggest having Tanabe (or a like player) @ < $2M would make sense from an Oiler perspective, whatever Gilbert’s ceiling proves to be next season. Experience and depth are valuable assets on the blueline.

  15. Dennis says:

    Yeah, if you think Yashin could team with 83 to eat the soft min and that he might also be able to make the PP go, then why not bring him in. What better options do we have?

    Speaking of bringing in players, the more I think about it, the more I think Brooks was right when he said the Oilers erred, or weren’t about “business” when it came to an offersheet for Lundqvist. I respect guys like Ty who’ll say you can play a Legace and or a Labarbera for a nice bargain but Henrik looks to be a bonafide difference maker in goal and in three years time when the Oilers might be able to get back into the playoffs, he’d still be young enough to win them a playoff round.

  16. uni says:

    Tanabe isn’t the answer. From everything I’ve read on him, there’s a reason why he’s been on so many teams in so many years. If anything he may be a downgrade defensively.

  17. James Mirtle says:

    Yeah, if you think Yashin could team with 83 to eat the soft min and that he might also be able to make the PP go, then why not bring him in. What better options do we have?

    Although apparently whoever wants Yashin is going to have to pay through the nose, regardless of the fact he hasn’t been worth more than $3.5-million in years.

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