Pens GM Jim Rutherford Says Johnson Trade Report Unfounded

The Penguins defenseman will likely be playing Thursday in the third pair

The Cook & Joe Show
October 01, 2019 - 3:04 pm

© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford says that a report saying the Penguins were close to trading defenseman Jack Johnson are unfounded.

“That was some pretty shabby journalism because all these reporters here have 24-hour access to me and when you’re going to write something like that you probably should go right to the person that can answer the question,” Rutherford told Cook and Joe on The Fan Tuesday.

Rutherford added that if a deal is in the works, he won’t talk to the player because there is always a chance it could fall through.

While there is no deal currently in place, Rutherford says, like most players on the team, if a good enough deal comes through they will make a move but there are no plans at this time.

“The fact of the matter is the coaches like Jack, they like what he does on our team, he’s one of our best penalty killers as a defenseman and playing in the third pairing with the right guy, he’s a good player for us,” said Rutherford.

While it is coach Mike Sullivan’s job to make the line-up, Rutherford thinks that Johnson will be a part of the third pairing when then Penguins open the season at home on Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres.

Johnson played  82 games last season for the Penguins with one goal and 13 assists. He was a -4.

While Johnson did play every regular season game in 2018-19, he was a healthy scratch in the first playoff game but did play the last three.

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