Jack Johnson has likely played his last game for the Rangers. Signed by the team for one year as a veteran presence to help offset the loss of Marc Staal, the 34-year old defenseman only got into 13 games for the team.
That was due to inconsistency and injuries which he apparently played through. The perplexing thing is when Johnson returned to the lineup out of necessity due to an injury to Anthony Bitetto and a Covid issue with K’Andre Miller, he was okay. However, coach David Quinn noted that Johnson was playing banged up. Maybe he never was fully healthy. If that’s the case, then he did the best he could.
That proved to be true. Yesterday, Johnson underwent successful sports hernia surgery. That according to TSN insider Darren Dreger. He is expected to make a full recovery this summer.
Is it the final time he’ll play in the NHL? It’s a good question. Considering the lack of mobility due to the physical style he’s played, Johnson might be obsolete in today’s game. At 34, the former 2005 number three pick of the Kings has played in 950 career games for four teams. They are the Kings, Blue Jackets, Penguins and Rangers.
If it is indeed over, Johnson finishes with 71 goals and 232 assists for 303 points and totaled 529 penalty minutes. In 30 postseason games, he performed well winding up with 21 points (5-16-21). The 21 came in his first 23 games including two years with the Kings and two years with the Blue Jackets. The last two were with the Pens.
Not a bad career for the 15-year veteran. Give him credit for playing hurt. Maybe Johnson wasn’t the most popular signing by the Rangers. But he always gave it his best. That’s all you can ask for. Best of luck to him in the future.