The Penguins today addressed the final lingering roster issue of the offseason -- backup goaltender -- by signing veteran Brent Johnson to a one-year contract.
Johnson, 32, and rookie John Curry are expected to vie for the job of backing up No. 1 goaltender Marc-
Andre Fleury. Curry is not signed but, as a restricted free agent, his rights are retained by the Penguins, and general manager Ray Shero has said he expected to work out a contract.
"It certainly gives us some competition and depth at that position," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "Brent's an established guy in the NHL as a backup goaltender. He's put up good numbers at different times in his career. He's a big guy."
Johnson, 6 feet 3, has played parts of nine NHL seasons with Washington, Phoenix and St. Louis. He appeared in 21 games with the Capitals last season, going 12-6-2 with a 2.81 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage before hip surgery curtailed his season.
Bylsma said the Penguins were not deterred by the injury and that Johnson is now healthy.
Johnson is the grandson of NHL Hall of Fame player Sid Abel and the son of former goaltender Bob Johnson, who played in 12 games with the Penguins in 1974-75. He is no relation to late Penguins coach Bob Johnson.
Shelly Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1721.