At the opening on free agency on Friday, the Tampa Bay Lightning shocked fans by placing top forward Tyler Johnson on waivers in the hopes of getting rid of his hefty contract in order to respect the salary cap. No one took on his deal and now general manager Julien BriseBois will probably have to pay far more than he would prefer to move Johnson, or any other player like Alex Killorn and Yanni Gourde for that matter.
The Bolts don’t have any other choice. They need to crunch the numbers and make room on the salary cap, and that’s why BriseBois attempted to move Johnson and dared to shove him on the waiver wire to respect the salary cap. Now, the GM is back to square one. Johnson helped him out since by expanding his list of trade destinations from five to eight clubs.
And finally on Thursday, insider Eric Stephens revealed that the Anaheim Ducks have now looked into the possibility of acquiring Johnson in a trade, though they are not willing to take on his full $5,000,000 annual salary in the transaction.
The Lightning would have to retain half of it and could also be forced to include a draft pick if they want to shed some money in the deal.
Johnson has put up 31 points in 65 regular-season games in 2019-20 and averaged 15:44 of ice time in 25 playoff games. The forward could bring skill and experience to another team, especially now that he’s won the Stanley Cup.
He has spent his entire NHL career with the Lightning and could embark on a new chapter this upcoming season. Though it remains to be seen if it will be in Anaheim. Despite the Ducks’ interest, we cannot be sure they are on Joshnon’s new expanded list of trade destinations.
To be continued…