Goaltender Chad Johnson did not seem overly eager to re-sign with the Buffalo Sabres on Monday.
Johnson, who will be an unrestricted free agent in July, called out the Sabres for their poor defensive play, adding he would have to be convinced to return to Buffalo.
"I know I can be a good goalie in this league and I showed that when things were the way they should be," Johnson told the Buffalo News. "I have to see the change, whether it's through players or somehow convince me through contract, through whatever it is, to come back.
"For a lot of games, for like 20 out of 29, it just seemed like a mess. Things need to obviously change for a goalie to have success. You look at any team, if they play the way that we play ... I think any goalie, whether you're Pekka Rinne or [Andrei] Vasilevskiy, if a team doesn't play a certain basic standard, it's going to be a mess."
Johnson, 31, posted a 10-16-3 record this season with an .891 save percentage and a 3.55 goals-against average. He posted a .910 save percentage in 36 games with the Calgary Flames last season and a .920 save percentage during his first stint with the Sabres in 2015-16.
For his career, Johnson owns a .910 save percentage and a 2.65 goals-against average. He said Monday he’s hoping teams look past the game sheets when evaluating his play for this season as he looks to stay at the NHL level.
“At the end of the day you have to hope the games were watched, not just on the statistics side of it," Johnson said. "I'm going into free agency not knowing what to expect and that's the bitter part about it. As a guy in my situation or other guys on one-year deals, it's a lot harder. You can't just flip the page."
Johnson played the season on a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Sabres.