You would think that after signing a new seven-year, $35MM deal, that could cause some complacency for a hockey player. However, not for Tampa Bay Lightning’s Tyler Johnson. The 27-year-old wing is coming off a solid season in which he scored 19 goals and added 26 assists. But after signing a new deal this offseason, Johnson has dedicated himself to a better offseason regimen and plans to be ready for an even better season next year.
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Johnson has changed everything from the way he eats to how he works out. He switched to a Keto diet, which is a high-fat, low carb regimen, such as more fish, meat and vegetables and less bread and pasta. In the gym, he is focused on strength training, which he hasn’t been able to do since he has broken his wrist twice over the past three years. Johnson hopes that both his training and eating adjustments should help him stay healthier this year after missing 13 games in 2015-16 and then another 16 last year.
He also hopes to take his game up a notch and help his team return to the playoffs, which is the first time he’s ever not been in the playoffs, including AHL and junior days. “Something I’d rather not do again,” added Johnson.
- According to Ed Willes of The Province, Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden has high expectations for Jacob Markstrom, who is ready to take over starting goaltending duties this year. The 27-year-old was a highly touted second-round pick by the Florida Panthers back in 2008 and shown some promise as a backup over the past two years. He played in 25 games last year as the backup to Ryan Miller and finished with a 2.63 GAA and a .910 save percentage. The Canucks also signed the Buffalo Sabres’ Anders Nilsson to a two-year deal this offseason, who could also cut into Markstrom’s playing time if he starts slowly. Nilsson, also 27, had similar numbers to Markstrom. In 26 games, Nilsson finished with a 2.67 GAA, but did have a stronger save percentage at .923.
- In the same piece, Linden tells Willes that he believes that considering that a significant number of their players are under 25, they have the right coach in Travis Green. He emphasizes the franchise’s focus is on the youth and they believe Green is the perfect coach to complement those players. “Outside of wins and losses, that’s going to be the key. We have to understand we’re in a transitional period,” added Linden.