The madness of free agency opening isn’t restricted to the NHL, and the Hershey Bears are the first team to make a splash.
The Bears signed 31-year-old centerman Jamie Johnson to a one-year deal only half an hour after the free agency period opened.
Johnson, who spent last season with the Kontinental Hockey League’s Dinamo Riga, will almost immediately slot into a top-six role for the Bears next season, and will fill a void left by the departure of Boyd Kane. In Riga last season, Johnson has 8 goals and 14 assists in 52 games.
Not a stranger to the AHL, Johnson played with the Iowa Stars, Albany River Rats, Rochester Americans, and will now suit up in Hershey.
In 423 career games, Johnson has tallied 96 goals and 186 assists for 282 points.
UPDATE: Scott Stuccio, the Bears play by play voice, spoke with Johnson:
— Scott Stuccio (@ScottStuccio) July 5, 2013