Chad Johnson was originally apart of a tank trade. Michal Neuvirth was standing on his head last season for the team, and was traded to the Islanders. The Isles sent Johnson back to the Sabres mainly as a throw in. He was thought of as one of the lesser backup goalies in the NHL. This year, he's turned that thought upside down.
Johnson is closer to being thought of as a starting goalie, or a high level backup. With Robin Lehner being injured for the majority of this season, Johnson has taken his chance to shine, and ran with it. Statistically he's making a case to be a starting goalie in the NHL.
Save percentage is the most accurate way to judge how good a goalie is. Johnson, has had a very good year in that respect. Even compared to some star goalies.
For save percentage Johnson is 11th in the NHL among goalies that played at least half their games. That isn't just a starting goalie level, that's a quality starting goalie.
Johnson's numbers look even more impressive with 5 on 5 save percentage, once again edging out the likes of Quick and Rask. The big difference is Johnson makes more than $6 million less than them.
I'm not advocating Johnson start over Robin Lehner, who actually beats him in every category, but with Lehner's injury history, it would be wise to have Johnson ready to go.
Some will argue Linus Ullmark is ready to be the backup, and he is. However, he is developing still, and at this point it would benefit him more to be playing night in and night out in Rochester. Besides, Johnson probably gives you better performance next year anyways.
What kind of contract will Johnson want? He'll certaintly want a pay raise, maybe around the $2.5 million mark. What term will he want though? If I'm the Sabres I really want him back on a 1 year deal, but would be open to a 2 year deal.
Anyway you look at it, it benefits the Sabres if Chad Johnson is back in blue and gold next season.
Yahoo's Gret Wyshynski said on the Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast, Wednesday, that there is "zero chance" the World Cup of Hockey doesn't come to Buffalo in 2020. Wyshynski was just thinking out loud. He had no source that told him this, it was just his opinion. His opinion makes total sense.
With this upcoming World Cup being in Toronto, the NHL will certainly want to host the next World Cup to be in the United States. Edmonton will reportedly bid on the tournament with a new arena on the way, but it would be shocking if the NHL chose that as the location. The top five cities that should be considered for 2020 include Buffalo, Chicago, Tampa Bay, New York, and Boston.
Why does Buffalo make the most sense? The biggest reason is it's proximity to Canada. We saw in the 2011 World Junior Championships that Canadian fans will fill up the arenas more than American fans. It's the NHL's way of putting the tournament in the States, and still getting Canada's fan base in the arenas.
Another reason is the facilities. Toronto will make a great location due to the several rinks in the area for practices. Buffalo can take it up another notch with rinks in walking distance at HarborCenter. It's the same reason the IIHF chose Buffalo to host the 2018 World Juniors.
The World Cup would be the biggest sports event Buffalo has ever hosted. Far bigger the World Juniors, far bigger than the NHL draft, far bigger than the Winter Classic, etc. That many star players in Buffalo for two weeks would be incredible for Buffalo.