What They’re Saying: Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson, on Rogers Sportsnet (Canada): “I’m excited about going to Columbus and being a Blue Jacket, and the possibilities I’m going to have there. If a team wants me, then I want to be a part of it. I’m excited to get there. I want to be part of something great and part of a successful hockey team. That was the message (from Columbus) – they’re trying to build something great for the future, and I want to be part of it. They know the player I am and what I can do, and they obviously really want my help there. I’m looking forward to going there and giving them everything I have to offer.”
Craig Button, former NHL GM and current NHL Network analyst: “I think the Columbus Blue Jackets and Scott Howson made a great deal. To get Jack Johnson and that first-round pick, it’s a great return for the Columbus Blue Jackets. I come from the school of thought that you need three or four skilled defensemen to be able to play and generate offense.
Marc Crawford, TSN analyst and former NHL head coach: “My first reaction is that I like the deal for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Scott Howson has done a decent job of getting a piece that he can use. They’ve got Tyutin, Methot, Wisniewski…and now you add Jack Johnson, who’s a great offensive defenseman. He’s never been given the opportunity to be the premier guy, playing being Drew Doughty and other offensive guys they have in Los Angeles. I think Jack has always wanted to be the premier guy, and this may be an opportunity for him to be the guy – and they get a first-round pick. I coached him for two years; laterally, he moves well, he walks the blue line quite well and can run a power play. He does a lot of things that you really like.”
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie: “Jack will like the added pressure and the spotlight of being a big part of a big trade, on a team that’s trying to do something here. I think (both James Wisniewski and Johnson) are physical guys; (Johnson) loves to rush the puck up the ice, he’s a young defenseman under contract. That’s good news for Columbus. He should be happy to be there.”
James O’Brien, ProHockeyTalk.com and NBC Sports: “Overall, this is a solid deal for both sides. The Kings add offense without wrecking their salary cap situation, although they’re now more or less married to what they have. The Blue Jackets made the most of a declining situation with Carter by getting a talented blueliner and a first-round pick for their troubles. It’s a conditional first-rounder. If the Kings miss the playoffs, Columbus will receive Los Angeles’ 2013 pick. If they make it, the Blue Jackets can choose between the Kings’ 2012 or 2013 choice.”
Scott Cullen, TSN Fantasy Hockey analyst: “Johnson is a 25-year-old defenseman who has loads of potential, with puck skills, a hard shot from the point and the size to be a physical presence. In Columbus, Johnson will continue to get plenty of minutes - he's played at least 22 minutes per game in each of the last three seasons - including time on the power play.”
Shawn P. Roarke, NHL.com Senior Managing Editor: “The 25-year-old (Johnson) is a big-bodied defender with the ability to hit and clear his own crease. He also has some pretty impressive upside. In fact, Johnson was a key of the United States Olympic team that took home silver two years ago. He has 8 goals and 24 points this season, but is just a season removed from a 42-point campaign. Johnson is also familiar with the area. He grew up in Michigan and played his college hockey with the University of Michigan, a Big 10 rival of Ohio State University, which calls Columbus home.”