The Chicago Blackhawks have been making some sneaky moves the past week, but honestly, the weirdest one in my opinion was this deal with the Lightning. I understand why the Tampa Bay Lightning were willing to get this trade done, and if you are the Blackhawks you would do it in a heartbeat.
Tampa Bay needed to move a contract, and Tyler Johnson was the best player available to move. Now the team cleared up five million in cap space and added a contract they can just place on LTIR at the start of the season.
Chicago on the other hand wanted to get rid of the Seabrook deal as while it doesn’t cost against the cap during the regular season, it does complicate things a little. Now they can move forward and added a draft pick as well as a solid forward that can play on the third line.
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Yes, fans might be saying that the spot would be better off used with one of the team’s younger players, but honestly, I don’t have an issue playing Johnson in the bottom six. He can be a really good third-line center or winger and he can spend time playing on the power play or in a lot of different situations.
The team just added a two-time Stanley Cup champion, someone with experience and skill. While it looked like Tampa was really just trying to get rid of him, that was because of his contract, not the type of player he is.
The Blackhawks depth chart is improving for the season, and now I think they are going to be a bigger threat up and down the lineup more so than in the past few seasons. Adding Johnson gives the team a little more depth and leadership for the next few seasons.
Monday was an interesting day for the Blackhawks. They swapped a minor league player and Brent Seabrook for Marc-Andre Fleury, Tyler Johnson, and a second-round draft pick. Sure the cap space is going down the drain, but overall this has been an interesting few days.
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I have to say they are doing their best to build a playoff roster. While it might not be a deep playoff run, I think they could be back in the postseason next season.