by Patrick Hoffman on 09/17/09 at 05:07 PM ET
From Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:
Johnson told me earlier this afternoon his goal is to make the Rangers (which should be the goal for everybody who stepped through the doors this weekend, no matter how realistic or unrealistic that might be).
But with Steve Valiquette under contract for one more season as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup, the Rangers are set. Johnson could compete for one of the two Hartford spots with Matt Zaba and Miika Wiikman, both who played for the Wolf Pack last season. Or, he could start the season at Charlotte (ECHL). But even based on just a few scrimmages/two preseason games, it seems obvious that Johnson has a chance to quickly move up the organizational goaltending ladder.
“I think, for me, the more I can be around and be with NHL caliber players and shooters, I’ll get used to the speed of the shots and the game,” Johnson said.
The Penguins chose Johnson, who had a 1.66 goals-against average and a 14-16-5 record for Alaska-Fairbanks last season, in the fifth round of the 2006 draft. But Johnson said he didn’t think the Penguins organization was a good fit for him in terms of opportunities and was prepared to wait until Aug. 15 this summer to become a free agent. Instead, the Penguins sent him to the Rangers in a trade that pleased Johnson for two reasons: He knew there was more of a chance to move up in the Rangers’ organization and he would have the chance to work with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire.
Click here for more. Nice to know that the Rangers have some depth in goal. Let’s see how it plays out this season.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
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