From the press release:
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, July 18, that the club has signed defenseman Aaron Johnson to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2012-13 season. Johnson’s contract is worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.
Johnson, a 6’1", 204-pound defenseman, skated in 56 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011-12, registering three goals and setting NHL career highs with 13 assists and 16 points, while collecting 16 penalty minutes.
This is exactly what it looks like: cheap defensive depth. Providence struggled mightily on the blueline last year, with a younger defense corps than in any prior year. Johnson has 10-32=42 totals in the NHL in 172 career games, and 26-83=109 totals in the AHL in 215 career games.
If nothing else, this will provide the Bruins' bottom pairing with some healthy competition.