NHL free agency news: Defenseman Jack Johnson to sign five-year deal with Penguins, reports say

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Jack Johnson (Getty Images)

Veteran defenseman Jack Johnson has a new home as he has agreed to a a five-year deal with the Penguins worth roughly $16 million, according to multiple reports.

The deal can’t become official until NHL free agency begins at noon Sunday.

Johnson had a lackluster 2017-18 season, his seventh with the Blue Jackets, with only 11 points in 77 games. In his previous six seasons with Columbus he averaged nearly 24 points per season.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sidney Crosby lobbied for the Penguins to bring in Johnson, making a deal for a declining 31-year-old more understandable as Johnson and Crosby played at the same prep school and are close friends.

Prior to his seven-year run in Columbus, Johnson played six seasons for the Kings.