Flyers re-sign Erik Johnson to one year deal

Erik Johnson was traded to Philadelphia at the deadline and now returns on a one-year deal.
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Free agent frenzy begins today in the NHL. We've already had plenty of chaos around the league, but the Flyers will not be a part of it. They're expected to make simple depth moves, but won't be players for any of the big names available.

Their first order of business is a move that has been rumored for months and has finally come to fruition. Erik Johnson, acquired from Buffalo at the deadline last season, will be returning to Philadelphia on a one-year deal. The contract is expected to come in at exactly 1M.

It's a significant pay cut from the one-year deal he signed with the Sabres for 3.25M last season. But Johnson, at his point in his career, is a seventh or even eighth defeseman depending on how many the Flyers carry.

Erik Johnson returns to Flyers on a one-year deal

Johnson appeared in 17 games for Philadelphia, posting two goals and three points. He's not here to be anything more than veteran leadership and an insurance policy for injuries. With Jamie Drysdale and Rasmus Ristolainen returning from injuries, it's not a bad idea to have a veteran like Johnson available if need be.

This does appear to solidify the Flyers' back end. Travis Sanheim, Cam York, Nick Seeler and the eventually signed Egor Zamula make up the rest of the defense. Unless any of the team's younger prospects blow the competition out of the water, it is unlikely they will start in the NHL. That includes Adam Ginning who impressed in his short stint last season.

The team may simply feel they'd rather have someone like him playing every night in the AHL rather than every few games at the NHL level. But at some point, the Flyers need to know if what they have in the pipeline can make it. That also includes a player like Ronnie Attard who will be in the final year of his contract. He will be an RFA next summer.

The signing of Johnson is not the biggest deal in the world, but with the Flyers strapped for cash, it's one of the main moves they'll be able to make. He won't play every day, the most important part.