Before Jack Johnson left his Columbus home for a professional tryout at Avalanche training camp, he had a frank conversation with 5-year-old Jacklyn, his oldest daughter. She had looked in her mom’s purse that day and saw only three dollar bills inside.
“Dad,” she said, “I really hope you make the team, because Mom’s only got $3 left.”
The 34-year-old veteran had a good laugh at the comment, but he knew making a loaded Colorado was not guaranteed. He played in five of six preseason games, and though he seemed to be in good position to make the team midway through training camp, he didn’t get a final assurance until Saturday night. His agent texted him with the news after the preseason finale, telling him the Avalanche were happy with his play and wanted to move forward with a contract. Jacklyn got her wish, and the Johnson family got to celebrate.
Since then, Johnson has been trying to sort out his living situation. His family will stay in Columbus for now, but he’s still trying to get settled. He finalized housing plans Sunday and is in the process of getting furniture and more clothes.
Adjusting to a new city can bring off-ice chaos, and Johnson took advantage of on-ice chaos in Wednesday’s season opener. Less than five minutes into his Avalanche debut, Johnson found himself on a breakaway when two Chicago skaters tripped over each other. He lumbered toward goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, then lifted a backhanded shot top shelf past the reigning Vezina Trophy winner.
“I just officially became a part of the team a few days ago,” he said after the team’s 4-2 win.
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