Saturday, the Nashville Predators placed defenseman Aaron Johnson on waivers. Johnson split last season between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames organizations. He signed a two-way, one-year contract this summer worth $550,000. If Johnson clears waivers, he will earn $105, 000 playing for the Milwaukee Admirals. Renaud LaVoie of RDS first broke the news on twitter late Saturday morning.
Johnson played in 3 preseason games for Nashville, including Wednesday night in Atlanta where he registered 2 assists and also had a shot ring off the pipes of goalie, and former Predator, Chris Mason. Johnson ended his 3 game tilt with the Predators at plus 3, the highest plus/minus on the team. While Johnson’s surprising offensive upswing must have turned some heads, Dirk Hoag over at Ontheforecheck points out that Johnson’s corsi rating was a whopping -10.
With Johnson being waived, 7 defensemen are still at camp. On opening night expect to see Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Francis Bouillon, Kevin Klein, Cody Franson and Ryan Parent suit up for Nashville. Whether or not Alexander Sulzer is also waived and sent to Milwaukee if unclaimed remains to be seen. But as of right now, it is safe to say that Sulzer fought hard and kept his spot as the 7th defenseman in Nashville. With little offensive ability, Sulzer is solid in performing the job he is assigned to do, defend. With offensive minded defensemen in Weber and Franson, the safer bet it Sulzer over Johnson.
Including Johnson, 26 players are still at camp.
The only positions left to determine are at forward. With 16 forwards left at camp, something has to give. Coach Barry Trotz commented in The Tennessean that he was still considering Johan Andersson and Sergei Kostitsyn. Andersson does not require waivers to be sent down to the AHL. Kostitsyn does require waivers.
All players still at camp will make the trip to Washington for tomorrow afternoon’s game against the Capitals. Game time is 12:00 p.m. Central time.