Tampa Bay Lightning begin rebuild, trade Tyler Johnson for Brent Seabrook
As a storied franchise within the NFL, the Tampa Bay Lightning have many fans. However, fans were worried that their 2020 victory in the Stanley Cup would be a one-off event. This summer, though, things changed: the team captured the Stanley Cup for only the third time in their history, delivering a hugely impressive repeat.
However, despite that success, a rebuild looks set to take place, and the building blocks are already being put in place as it stands. A significant trade has taken place, with Tyler Johnson leaving the Lightning to join the Chicago Blackhawks. In return, the Chicago team will receive a second-round pick for the 2023 NHL Draft, and also Brent Seabrook.
Johnson, who is set to turn 31 this week, arrives as a veteran with a three-year deal, worth around $35m for the duration of the deal. He joined the Lightning in 2017, but now moves on after a four-year spell. Speaking about the previous season, Johnson said: "I really did feel, last year and then this year, that something was going to happen,
"Maybe it took longer than everyone anticipated. We ended up getting a [Stanley] Cup and that was pretty cool. Now that [the trade has] finally happened, I think it's going to make my life a lot easier, kind of relax a little bit, look forward to something, not wondering what if or what's going to happen. I'm really excited for the opportunity.”
Johnson got to spend the day with the Stanley Cup as all players get the chance. With 22 points across 55regualr season games and seven points in 23 Stanley Cup games this year, he played a key role in helping the Lightning carry out a repeat of their title.
What happens next?
For one, his replacement at the Lightning, Seabrook, will retire. The 36-year-old has been suffering from major right hip injuries, and is expected to see an eight-year contract which runs until 2023-24, come to an end. Seabrook already said in March that he would end his playing career due to his previous hip injuries.
When asked about what it meant to be leaving the Lightning, though, Johnson said: "I think bittersweet is a pretty good word for everything,
"I get to celebrate with the Cup, kind of say a last goodbye and then get a look forward to the next chapter of my life playing with Chicago. it was kind of a shock when I first got that phone call but at the same time super excited. They're a great organization, they have a lot of talent on the team. I kind of felt like I was going somewhere, and I'm very happy it's an organization like Chicago."
For both clubs, then, this summer represents a chance to change things up. For the Lightning, the need to find a new formula to work with to keep building winning teams means that tough decisions will need to be made. For the Blackhawks, this is the chance to grab a veteran who played a big role in some very impressive title wins.29.07.2021 < Back