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Johnson hustling on ice

Blackhawks forward stressed over trade deadline plans by team

Published March 3, 2024 at 9:59
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Chicago Blackhawks have one goal: to become a Stanley Cup-contending team one day.

As a result, there are unfortunate casualties, and Tyler Johnson is likely to be among them.

He may be trade-deadline bait.




Being traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning before took place during the off-season, so the anxiety wasn't as high as it is now.

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The prank he once received from his former teammates of the Tampa Bay Lightning didn't help.

The 2013 season saw him subjected to a prank called by goalie Ben Bishop pretending to be Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.

During the first 14 days of Johnson's tenure with the team, Johnson was told he had been traded by his goalie Ben Bishop while in his hotel room. It was a cruel and funny prank.

"They used to have that old app that you could call using a different number," Johnson said. "I remember sitting in my hotel room at that time, because I didn't even have a place then, and it just popped up as Steve Yzerman. I was freaking out.

"I was like, 'Hey, Mr. Yzerman.' And then you start talking to him and I was like, 'Ah, [bleep], Bish!' I knew right away. But yeah, it's a little nerve-wracking."

Even recalling this memory hasn't eased Johnson's anxiety about being traded mid-season.

There were a few other Lightning rookies whom Bishop pranked in this manner.

Johnson, Colin Blackwell, and Anthony Beauvillier may have to be on their toes this season since there is uncertainty about who will be moved.

"It's pretty hard to not completely think about it," said Johnson, 33. "But right now, I'm just focused on our team and playing the best we can."

"Who knows what will happen? I've been in a lot of rumors in a lot of years, so it's just how it is."

After returning from injury, the forward has had 22 shots on net, 5 points in 10 games, and 12 goals in 45 games, a 22-goal pace.

A versatile forward, Johnson can be used in a variety of situations, including power plays.

"It's hard when our team's not necessarily doing very well," he said. "I don't really want to look at individual stuff [since] it's a team game. Right now, we're just so hesitant, we're not working together and...when you're playing like that, it's tough on everybody. We've really got to figure that out. But I feel good physically, mentally [and] that kind of thing."

While he could fetch a decent price, his position in the lineup makes moving him difficult.
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March 3   |   224 answers
Blackhawks forward stressed over trade deadline plans by team

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