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Gregory C. Johnson (March 16, 1971 – July 7, 2019) was a professional ice hockey player in the National Hockey League with the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, and Nashville Predators.

Greg Johnson
Born (1971-03-16)March 16, 1971
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Died July 7, 2019(2019-07-07) (aged 48)[1]
Rochester, Michigan, U.S.
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 194 lb (88 kg; 13 st 12 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Detroit Red Wings
Pittsburgh Penguins
Chicago Blackhawks
Nashville Predators
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 33rd overall, 1989
Philadelphia Flyers
Playing career 1994–2006

In over 700 career NHL games, Johnson earned 350 points from 134 goals and 216 assists. His best season was in 1998–99 where he achieved 16 goals and 34 assists.

Playing careerEdit

AmateurEdit

Born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Johnson recorded 96 points in 47 games for the local Thunder Bay Flyers of the USHL in 1988-89.

Johnson played four years at the University of North Dakota where he led the WCHA in assists twice and was placed on the conference First All-Star Team three straight years from 1991 to 1993. He was also placed on the NCAA West First All-American Team in 1991 and 1993 and the Second Team in 1992.

ProfessionalEdit

Johnson was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers as the 33rd pick in the second round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, but never played for the organization. On June 20, 1993, he was traded from the Flyers with future considerations to the Detroit Red Wings for Jim Cummins and a fourth round pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Red Wings head coach and general manager Bryan Murray specifically targeted Johnson as a skilled center whom the Wings could develop.[2]

Johnson spent parts of four seasons with the Red Wings from 1993 to 1997. On January 27, 1997, Johnson was traded by the Red Wings to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger Tomas Sandstrom. The Wings, who were looking to add a more physical element and had depth down the middle, traded from a position of strength by sending the skilled center for the rugged veteran forward.[3] The move paid off for the Wings, as they went on to win the 1996-97 Stanley Cup.

Johnson played the rest of the 1996-97 season and part of the 1997-98 season with the Penguins before being traded to the Blackhawks for Tuomas Gronman on October 22, 1997.

Johnson was the 23rd pick of the 1998 NHL Expansion Draft by the Predators from the Blackhawks.[4] He would go on to spend the final seven years of his career with the team. Johnson was the second captain in Nashville Predators history,[5] and served in that capacity from 2002 until 2006. He had previously served as an alternate captain from 1999 to 2002.

Johnson became part of an anomaly during the 2005–06 season when he was credited with scoring a goal before the start of a game against the Detroit Red Wings. On November 21, 2005, he scored a goal during the first period of a game that was eventually postponed after Red Wings defender Jiri Fischer suffered a cardiac arrest. The game was replayed on January 23, 2006 and, while the full game was replayed, Johnson's goal was allowed to stand, thus giving Nashville a 1–0 lead before the opening faceoff.

On August 14, 2006, Johnson signed a one-year contract to rejoin his former team the Detroit Red Wings. In September 2006, during a routine preseason physical, an EKG test returned abnormal results. Johnson had further testing, and eventually decided to retire before training camp.[6]

International playEdit

Medal record
Representing   Canada
Ice hockey
Olympic Games
  1994 Lillehammer
World Junior Championships
  1991 Saskatchewan

Johnson earned a silver medal representing Canada at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. He also played for the Canadian National Team in the 1992–93 and 1993-94 seasons.

Personal lifeEdit

Johnson's brother Ryan was also a professional hockey player, playing for five teams over a fifteen-year NHL career.[7]

On July 7, 2019, Johnson's wife Kristin found him dead in the basement of their Detroit home. No cause of death has been given, but police reports that it was suicide by firearm.[6] Johnson was 48 and survived by his wife and their two daughters.[8]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1988–89 Thunder Bay Flyers USHL 47 32 64 96 4 12 5 13 18 0
1989–90 U. of North Dakota WCHA 44 17 38 55 11
1990–91 U. of North Dakota WCHA 38 18 61 79 6
1991–92 U. of North Dakota WCHA 39 20 54 74 8
1992–93 U. of North Dakota WCHA 34 19 45 64 18
1992–93 Canadian National Team Intl 23 6 14 20 2
1993–94 Canadian National Team Intl 14 2 9 11 4
1993–94 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 3 2 4 6 0 4 0 4 4 2
1993–94 Detroit Red Wings NHL 52 6 11 17 22 7 2 2 4 2
1994–95 Detroit Red Wings NHL 22 3 5 8 14 1 0 0 0 0
1995–96 Detroit Red Wings NHL 60 18 22 40 30 13 3 1 4 8
1996–97 Detroit Red Wings NHL 43 6 10 16 12
1996–97 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 32 7 9 16 14 5 1 0 1 2
1997–98 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 5 1 0 1 2
1997–98 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 69 11 22 33 38
1998–99 Nashville Predators NHL 68 16 34 50 24
1999–00 Nashville Predators NHL 82 11 33 44 40
2000–01 Nashville Predators NHL 82 15 17 32 46
2001–02 Nashville Predators NHL 82 18 26 44 38
2002–03 Nashville Predators NHL 38 8 9 17 22
2003–04 Nashville Predators NHL 82 14 18 32 33 6 1 2 3 0
2005–06 Nashville Predators NHL 68 11 8 19 10 5 0 1 1 2
NHL totals 785 145 224 369 345 37 6 7 13 14

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
1991 Canada WJC   7 4 2 6 0
1993 Canada WC 4th 8 1 2 3 2
1994 Canada Oly   8 0 3 3 0
Junior totals 7 4 2 6 0
Senior totals 16 1 5 6 2

Awards and honoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gregory James Johnson". The Chronicle-Journal. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  2. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bFAiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=H60FAAAAIBAJ&pg=4742%2C4847072
  3. ^ "Penguins trade Tomas Sandstrom for Greg Johnson". apnewsarchive.com. January 27, 1997. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  4. ^ http://www.hockeynut.com/9899/predapick0698.html
  5. ^ "Greg Johnson, original member and former captain of Nashville Predators, dead at 48". The Chronicle-Journal. The Canadian Press. Retrieved July 10, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Tony Paul. "Death of former Red Wing Greg Johnson likely a suicide, police say". The Detroit News. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  7. ^ "Q&A with Ryan Johnson". St. Louis Blues. May 4, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
  8. ^ "Former Preds captain Johnson dead at 48". TSN. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "WCHA Tourney History". WCHA. Archived from the original on July 2, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tom Fitzgerald
Nashville Predators captain
200206
Succeeded by
Kimmo Timonen