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Former Nanook will netmind for Boston Bruins

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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 12:00 am

FAIRBANKS — Chad Johnson is getting an opportunity to help the Boston Bruins bid for a return to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The former Alaska Nanooks standout goaltender agreed Friday to a one-year, one-way contract with the Bruins, who lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in June for the National Hockey League’s top prize.

Johnson, the recipient of the 2008-09 Central Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year honor, is set receive a salary worth an annual cap figure of $600,000, according to the Bruins website.

The 27-year-old native of Calgary, Alberta, is vying to backup Bruins starter Tuukka Rask. Boston is the third NHL stop for Johnson, who’s entering his eighth season of professional hockey.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound netminder has played in 10 NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers

Johnson was unbeaten in four games (2-0-2) for Phoenix last season, compiling a 1.21 goals against average and .954 saves percentage. He  registered his first NHL shutout in the Coyotes’ 4-0 win over the Nashville Predators last Jan. 28 in Glendale, Ariz.

Johnson played in six games with the New York Rangers from 2009-11, recording a 1-2-1 mark with 1.97 GAA and .929 saves percentage.

The rest of Johnson’s career has been spent in the American Hockey League, as he played in 170 games and posted a 74-70-12 from 2009-13 with the Hartford (Conn.) Wolfpack, Connecticut Whale and Portland (Maine) Pirates.

Johnson garnered a career-high 24 wins along with a 2.54 GAA and .911 saves percentage in 2009-10 with Hartford.

Following his freshman season with the Nanooks, Johnson was selected in the fifth round and 125th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. During the draft in 2009, the Penguins traded Johnson’s rights to the Rangers for a fifth-round pick.

Johnson signed a free-agent contract with Phoenix last year.

Johnson played in 79 career games for the Nanooks, finishing with a 25-35-11 record, 2.33 GAA, .918 saves percentage and seven shutouts. The shutouts tied him with Wylie Rogers (2004-08) for second all-time in team history.

UAH tabs Corbett

Mike Corbett, an Air Force Academy assistant coach for the past 10 seasons, was named Monday as the head coach for the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

Corbett served last season as Air Force’s associate head coach and he was recently a finalist for the head coaching position at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Corbett will guide Alabama-Huntsville into its first season in the revamped, 10-team Western Collegiate Hockey Association, which will include the Alaska Nanooks and UAA.

“Mike Corbett has spent the past decade recruiting elite young men to the United States Air Force Academy and winning championships,” Alabama-Huntsville athletic director E.J. Brophy said in a press release.  “We are very confident that he is the man to lead Charger hockey into the prestigious WCHA and back to winning on a consistent basis here at UAH.”

Corbett replaces former Chargers head coach Kurt Kleinendorst, who after one season, resigned in May to seek professional coaching opportunities.

During his tenure with Air Force, Corbett helped the Falcons gain five Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament titles and five appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012).

The Nanooks face Corbett’s old team and his new squad this coming season.

The  Nanooks open the regular season against Air Force on Oct. 11 in the Kendall Hockey Classic. Alabama-Huntsville visits the Nanooks for a WCHA series at the Carlson Center on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

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