Tampa Bay Lightning Waive Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson
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The Tampa Bay Lightning have waived forward Tyler Johnson. The news comes just minutes after the NHL Free Agency period began. This news is a big shock consider Johnson’s role on the team but Tampa is in a salary crunch. Elliotte Friedman announced the move Friday morning.

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Lightning Waive Tyler Johnson

Johnson was a big part of the team’s success in 2019-20. The scored 14 goals and 31 points in 65 games while averaging 14:33 per game in a middle-six role. He was productive in the postseason as well with four goals and seven points in 25 games while often playing tough minutes in almost every situation. Johnson has remained a consistent scoring option and possession player throughout his career. His point totals have never been below 30 outside of his rookie season. He has also been in positive Corsi For territory in every season except for 2017-18 when it dipped to 49.4 percent.

Johnson entered the league as an undrafted free agent after signing with Tampa Bay in 2011. He debuted in 2012-13 with three goals and six points in 14 games. His most productive year came in 2014-15 when Johnson posted 29 goals and 72 points in 77 games. That earned him votes for the all-star game, Lady Byng Trophy and Selke. Overall, the 30-year-old has played in 534 regular-season games with 153 goals and 339 points.

What This Means for the Future

Johnson should have no trouble finding a job for 2020-21. Yes, he is entering his 30s and there’s always a chance of falling off but there’s no obvious indication of that happening yet. His scoring rate was down in the last season but some of that comes from just how deep the Lightning were. They didn’t need him to carry the team as he has in the past.

This move clears roughly $5 million in cap space for Tampa. They have to make several big signings on the blueline including Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak. The money freed up by the waiver move will go to good use almost immediately.

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