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Could Tyler Johnson's career come full circle?

Published October 22, 2023 at 12:30

The Chicago Blackhawks organization has been on a high over the past several months after drafting Connor Bedard at the end of June. This is all part of the Blackhawks' plan to rebuild their team from scratch as they've closed the chapter with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, who brought the team amazing success in the 2010s.

General Manager Kyle Davidson is constantly evaluating his roster, and as part of the rebuilding process, a general manager looks for players who could help him down the road by trading them to contenders to recover draft picks and/or prospects.

One such player who has been seen as potential trade bait is NHL veteran forward Tyler Johnson. Johnson has had a long career in the NHL and has overcome several years of major injuries. He has conquered these obstacles and still provides quality scoring with a reasonable cap hit.

It has been rumoured that two teams are considering Johnson as a potential upgrade for their center position, namely the New York Islanders and his former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. He would join former Blackhawks teammate Brandon Hagel in Tampa Bay.

The Islanders are currently evaluating and understanding that their top 9 will need another center to help boost offensive production. Matthew Barzal has underperformed for several years, and with the acquisition of Bo Horvat last year from the Vancouver Canucks, an additional center would bolster their top 9 and provide more scoring. A player like Johnson would certainly fit the bill.

As for the Lightning, it seems that General Manager Julien Brisebois is always on the lookout for talent or a trade that will aid his team's quest for another Stanley Cup run. Given the Lightning's tight cap situation, it's expected that any trade involving Johnson would require the Blackhawks to retain 50% of his salary, making him more affordable at $2.5 million in his remaining year.

The Lightning remains in a win-now mode as their window for winning narrows with their players aging. I would expect the Lightning to be in the running for Johnson when he becomes available.

The Blackhawks will play at home against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, October 24th, with the game scheduled for 8:30 PM Eastern.
October 22   |   52 answers
Could Tyler Johnson's career come full circle?

Will the Hawks move Tyler Johnson by the trade deadline?

Yes2853.8 %
No2446.2 %
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