The Chicago Blackhawks announced this morning that forward Tyler Johnson has undergone artificial disc replacement surgery on his neck. The procedure will keep him out of the lineup for three months.
A batch of medical updates for the #Blackhawks:
– Khaira out today (non-COVID illness)
– Murphy in concussion protocol
– T. Johnson out three months after successful neck surgery this morninghttps://t.co/ggrpkrFAV9
— Carter Baum (@CarterBaum) December 3, 2021
Tyler Johnson Has Neck Surgery, Expected to Miss Three Months
This is Tyler Johnson’s first season with the Chicago Blackhawks after being traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning this summer. Johnson spent nine years with the Lightning, capping his time spent in Florida with back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. Ultimately, the small forward’s cap-hit proved to be too much for the Lightning to handle, thus forcing the trade.
Johnson had played only eight games this season before going down with the neck injury. Unfortunately, Johnson’s start with the Blackhawks wasn’t quite what he or the Blackhawks had hoped for. In those eight games, Johnson accumulated only one goal and two assists, as the Blackhawks limped to an 0-8-1 start to the season. He was averaging just over 14 minutes of ice-time a night, but in those limited minutes had some of the worst possession and expected goal metrics on the team.
His neck injury was suffered in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes when he was shoved from behind into an opposing player.
What This Means Going Forward
This is just another blow to a Blackhawks’ team that has already had several this season. This news doesn’t impact Chicago’s lineup too much, as the team has already been covering his absence over the past month.
For the Blackhawks, this season is already a write-off. That makes the news of Johnson’s surgery and extended time-off sting a little less because it’s not like the team is in the midst of a playoff push. The three-month timeline will have Johnson set to return around March. This will give both him and the Blackhawks some time to reset, establish some consistency, and hopefully head into the offseason on a better note than how this season has started for both parties.