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Why the 'Hawks' signing of Ryan Johnson Is So Confusing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Chicago Blackhawks Friday signed center/wing Ryan Johnson to a one-year deal woth $500,000. 

    He's expected to play tonight vs. Detroit

    Johnson is the very definition of  "a guy." 

    He's a grind-it-out white guy who would probably be perfectly suited to play left field for the White Sox.  He's a 4th liner, but even that positioning is questionable. 

    It's unclear what he brings that Ben Smith didn't in his brief call-up, or why he gets to take up cap space ahead of Ryan Potulny -- who at least has proven to have a modicum of offense before.

    What this means for the lineup tonight is another issue clouded by the ether.  Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa practiced, but they will not play tonight.  Does Patrick Sharp move from center to Jonathan Toews's wing? 

    Is Jordan Hendry going to inexplicably continue on the second line but not on the third pairing?  I honestly have no idea, but what I do know is this is not how you want to go into a pretty important tilt against the Red Wings.

    On top of this, Jassen Cullimore has been put on waivers but will play tonight.  That must do wonders for morale.  While Cullimore is certainly limited, why he's being designated for demotion ahead of Nick Boynton is ... I'm sorry, I had to take a moment to cry there.  I'm done now.  

    Jeremy Morin has not been called back up, which is good because his cap hit is the scariest thing in the world apparently, but bad because the scoring touch he brought with him has exited stage left for Ryan Johnson and the returning Fernando Pisani.  Wonderful.

    All I can tell you is Corey Crawford is starting tonight, and that the Hawks will need to find some Mean Gene Orkerlund "Testicular Fortitude" tonight to come up with a season-changing win.  Duck.