Your Newest Blackhawk

The IceHogs signed Ryan Johnson to a PTO about a week ago and yesterday, the Hawks officially signed him to a 2-way, pro-rated salary for the league minimum.  Johnson only played one game for the Hogs and was a -1. 

The 34 year-old veteran plays both wing and center.  He played for the Vancouver Canucks for the last two seasons and a few others before that.  He’s hardly someone worth getting excited about.  Quite frankly, it’s another curious move made by the Blackhawks.  Ryan Potulny and Jeff Taffe do the same thing and carry the same cap hit as Johnson just without that sexy ‘veteran’ label. 

If they can’t trust either of those two with the big club, then how exactly did the scouting staff sell those two moves to Hawk brass this summer when they traded for one and signed the other?  Strange days are, indeed, here.

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15 Responses to Your Newest Blackhawk

  1. CT says:

    “He’s hardly someone worth getting excited about.” Too late, I’M EXCITED!

  2. hawkfan81 says:

    Potulny is a one way forward that could and maybe should have been called up to replace some of the offense lost by Kane and Hossa. He has to play a top six role with skilled players and be given PP time to be effective. That’s what he did for the Oil last year and he produced at a decent clip. He’s not a smart two way player and is very average in his own end. Taffe is a similar player to Johnson and so maybe they could have given him a shot but I don’t think there is anything wrong with adding Johnson to the mix. He’s decent in the faceoff dot, a strong penalty killer and a very willing shot blocker. He’ll also stick up for his teamates and yes, has a veteran presence that the Hawks seem to be missing a bit.

  3. John says:

    The problem is, they’ve spent the entire season telling the Rockford players they’ll get a call-up if they work hard and earn it. Then all of a sudden, they sign a guy off the street and he gets called up within a few days.

    I don’t think that will go over too smoothly with the guys who deserve a shot at an extended stay over the great Ryan Johnson.

  4. Mark says:

    GAME CHANGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. dominator says:

    Also Jassen Cullimore on waivers now. Should have been Boynton.

  6. CT says:

    I bet Cullimore got waived because somebody in the front office saw him playing for the Canucks on CSN in that series from 1995 and realized just how old he actually was.

  7. John says:

    What’s more depressing…Cullimore putting up better numbers than Hjalmarsson or Cullimore getting waived?

  8. CT says:

    “I don’t think that will go over too smoothly with the guys who deserve a shot at an extended stay over the great Ryan Johnson.” – Just curious John, is there somebody in Rockford that you feel deserves a shot? I’m curious as I don’t watch many of their games, so most of my information on the Ice Hogs comes from you guys and Block. You mention Taffe and Potulny, but have they earned anything? I know Taffe’s got a scoring streak going, but I’ve no idea if that’s legit, or simply a case where this is a bad AHL team and somebody’s going to get points.

  9. John says:

    Those were just two guys who came to mind as I ate breakfast this morning. I don’t watch nearly as much IceHog hockey as Block does (I get more than my fill of bad hockey from watching the Hawks) but I would say that someone down there at least deserves an extended look. If you’re going to be an organization that claims to give their guys a chance if they try, then you have to, rather than giving that spot to a free agent off the street.

  10. John says:

    I would also add to that thought….if there isn’t one guy who doesn’t deserve an extended call-up, then, to me, that’s pretty damning on their scouting staff as a whole. You have a team of 13 to 14 guys who’s rights you control and not one of them is good enough to play on your last place team? Wow.

  11. dominator says:

    Considering how bad the Ice Hogs are that seems entirely possible

  12. Dave Morris says:

    From Adam Jahns’ column:”Johnson played for coach Joel Quenneville years ago with the St. Louis Blues. He’s played in 667 regular-season games, including the last two seasons with the rival Vancouver Canucks.”

    Perhaps this answers your questions.

    BTW there’s nothing ‘sexy’ about being an NHL veteran.

    Quenneville knows Johnson, and what he can and can’t do. Also, playing under Vigneault, Ryan Johnson was/is a defensively oriented player who can compliment the offense, as Vigneault’s system teaches and requires.

    Logically, Q expects Johnson, as an experienced guy, to get the job done to the best of his ability as an interim player.

  13. CT says:

    And with a nice win over the Red Wings, the Hawks vault from 5th to 3rd in the division and either the 7th or 8th seed in the playoffs.

    Long way to go, and hopefully Kane and Hossa will be back tomorrow.

  14. CT says:

    Also, regarding Johnson – I think he was brought in to fill a specific need: penalty killer. The Hawks PK has been atrocious, and Johnson is somewhat of a specialist in that regard. It’s not necessarily a role you’d call up a young guy to fill.

  15. Cam says:

    Kane couldn’t even finish practice today.

    Nothing is more annoying than teams rushing players back weeks before they’re ready. An immobile Kane isn’t going to helps things.

    The Hawks needs to play the fundamentally sound, lunch pail type hockey they played in periods 2-3 Friday if they want any shot at making the playoffs.

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