The Boston Bruins certainly would benefit from having Marcus Johansson in camp right now, but alas he now is a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
The middle six winger landed with the Bruins from the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline, and after a stellar showing in the postseason the 28-year-old deservedly got a nice payday. He signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Sabres back in July shortly after free agency opened.
After a hot start last season, Buffalo flamed out in a big way, eventually situating themselves toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. Still, they have an impressive young core and just hired a new coach in Ralph Krueger, so times might be changing in Western new York.
And with training camp heating up, the Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski reported what convinced Johansson to sign with the Sabres.
“When considering the contract offer from the Sabres,” Lysowski wrote, “Johansson chose not to reach out to anyone who played for Krueger during the World Cup of Hockey in 2016 or the coach’s three-season stint with the Edmonton Oilers from 2010-13.
“Instead, the two men talked over the phone about hockey and life off the ice. The conversation, as well as the Sabres’ nucleus of young talent, convinced Johansson he could help bring playoff hockey back to Buffalo.”
With the postseason he just had, Johansson positioned himself to get a nice payday before hitting his 30s. That he feels he also can contribute to getting Buffalo back into the postseason must be icing on the cake.