But I would go with Johnson also. In the mean time, the Rangers should be looking for some Goal Tenders, and guys who can play RW during the up and coming draft(s). I see even HF has us dropped again to #12. We were just at #3. The team has more than enough defense men to battle for positions.
Johnson would benefit more playing every game in Hartford. We've still got Stajcer who we drafted last year, and Cameron Talbot who we just signed as a UFA out of the NCAA. Don't know what the future holds for Zaba. If we don't re-sign him, maybe we take a goalie late.
HF dropped us to #12 because Artie and MDZ both graduated and we didn't add anyone since the last ranking. If we add MZA and a top 10 pick, we should move up again.
I don't care about his development. We cannot develop players. Why goalies should eb any different? I can see the benefit of playing in AHL, but I'd rather have a forward for the cap hit. If Lundqvist hurt, just turn the lights off and close the store. No backup would help.
Johnson's cap hit is 850k. Any UFA goalie we sign as a backup will likely make less than that. Vally was only making 725k.
Whoever is willing to sign really cheap. We don't need a good backup, Hank is more than capable of starting 70 games a year. Obviously if the backup proves capable we can give him a little more rest, but really when you look at how he performed down the stretch it's hard to say he looked like he really needed a break.
Oh and for all the talk of Torts overusing him, he's now played in 70 or more games the past four years (and three of those Renney was coach), with his rookie year being the only one he didn't reach 70. And he played more in 07-08 than he did this year.