Fantasy Take: Tyler Johnson Finally Moved… To Chicago

Ian Gooding

2021-07-27

The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded Tyler Johnson and a 2023 second-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for Brent Seabrook.

This is yet another trade being made for purely (or at least mostly) salary cap reasons. The Lightning finally find a way to part with Johnson's contract (three more years at $5 million), while the Blackhawks find a taker for Seabrook's LTIR-bound contract (three more years at $6.875 million). The Blackhawks get a player and the incentive (a second-round pick to replace the one they lost in the Seth Jones trade) for taking on the player they can't put on LTIR, while the Bolts move out $5 million in cap space while taking on a contract they can move on LTIR.

The only direct fantasy implications involve Johnson. Here's a potential (at least as of this moment) Blackhawks lineup.

Johnson would slot in as the third-line center, behind Kirby Dach and Jonathan Toews. (Maybe the Hawks made this trade a season too late, given the Dach and Toews injuries?) Even though he had been buried down Tampa's lineup, he still played in all but one regular-season game and every playoff game in 2020-21. He was most recently a bottom-six forward and second-unit power-play option for the Lightning, which is something that shouldn't change significantly with the Blackhawks. A change of scenery might help the 30-year-old center get his career back on track anyway after declining productivity and a diminishing role over each of the past four seasons.

Perhaps anticipating this trade, the Hawks did not extend qualifying offers to Pius Suter