According to Sportsnet’s Andrew Walker, the Toronto Marlies have signed Anchorage, Alaska native Justin Johnson to an AHL contract. That means the Leafs’ minor league system could get significantly more punchy.
The 34-year old has spent the majority of his career splitting time between the AHL and ECHL, but did enjoy a brief (and memorable) two-game stint in the NHL with the New York Islanders.
Justin Johnson replaces Colton Orr as the Leafs organization’s resident guy who buckled John Scott. http://t.co/tmtPMzEJmn
— Steve Dangle Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) July 26, 2015
Here’s what this deal really boils down to… Kyle Dubas, GM of the Marlies, just signed a guy who put up 64 points and a whopping 1,410 penalty minutes in just 390 career games across three professional leagues.
That seems very uncharacteristic… Should we all collectively panic? No. That would be stupid. This deal has so little impact on the Toronto Maple Leafs organization that it’s barely worth mentioning.
Johnson will likely spend most of his time with ECHL Orlando as opposed to with the Marlies, which is probably a significant improvement over his last season spent with ECHL Alaska. The guy is probably just looking for an opportunity to thaw out.
In the unlikely situation that Johnson does find himself with the Marlies, it will likely mean that one of the organization’s actual prospects will shift down to Orlando to get increased ice time and a better opportunity to play. An argument could be made that it’s better to fill out the Marlies’ fourth line with veterans than hinder a young players’ development by playing him only eight minutes a game. Still, it likely won’t come to that.
Feel free to freak out in the comments anyway.