There might not have been a worse off-season signing than Jack Johnson and his egregious contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. On July 1, the Penguins signed Johnson to a five-year $16.25 million contract, baffling the hockey community. With over half a season under his belt in Pittsburgh, hindsight isn't doing Jim Rutherford any favors.
Tomas Hertl just singlehandedly clowned the Pens pic.twitter.com/1OJlvt1zla— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 16, 2019
Defensive lapses like this have become the norm for Johnson in Pittsburgh.
Johnson logged just 11 points with the Columbus Blue Jackets last year and was last in nearly every advanced stat among defensemen. Not much has changed for Johnson on the Pens. He's posted a 43.50 corsi percentage and has been on the ice for 43 five-on-five goals against, both of which is worst amongst Penguins defenseman.
Penguins gave up 23 goals on their road trip: 4, 5, 5, 2 and 7. ... Jack Johnson was on the ice for 12 of those. ... My point in the last tweet about Pettersson and this one: Third pair has to get back to what it was.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) January 20, 2019
He's been a defensive liability and the Penguins have to deal with him for five seasons.
How Rutherford saw it fit to give a 31-year-old defenseman who posts terrible advanced statistics is baffling. Thankfully, the addition of Marcus Pettersson has helped mask Johnson's terrible defensive play, but paying him over $3 million a year seems excessive when the Penguins could have just relied on Jamie Oleksiak to man the third pairing.
Instead, Oleksiak gets to sit in the press box while Johnson remains a defensive liability night after night.