Tyler Johnson was acquired by Chicago earlier in the week as a cap dump from Tampa Bay but as he recounted to reporters, including Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times, he was nearly a member of the Blackhawks long before now. Johnson was never drafted and said that it was “almost a coin flip” between signing with them or the Lightning back in 2011. The 31-year-old certainly made the wise choice as he won two Stanley Cups with Tampa Bay and has picked up 361 career NHL points. After being more of a role player the last couple of seasons, Johnson could have a shot at a top-six spot with Chicago next season and could slot into the spot vacated by Pius Suter who was non-tendered at the beginning of the week and has since signed with Detroit.
More from the Central Division:
- The four-year contract that the Stars gave Ryan Suter may have raised some eyebrows considering the defenseman is already 36 but if he has his way, he’ll be playing long past this deal. Speaking with reporters including NHL.com’s Tracey Myers, Suter indicated that he believes he can play in the NHL until he’s 45. That would certainly be an impressive feat, one that hasn’t been done since Chris Chelios (although if Zdeno Chara plays next year, he’ll accomplish that as well). Suter has logged heavy minutes throughout his career but with the depth that Dallas has in front of him, he shouldn’t have to play as much which would certainly help his chances of playing beyond this contract.
- While the Coyotes quickly signed veteran goaltender Carter Hutton following their trade of Darcy Kuemper to Colorado, Arizona GM Bill Armstrong told reporters including Arizona Sports’ Austin Nicholson that they will continue to be on the lookout for goalie depth. Alexandar Georgiev of the Rangers and one of the Blue Jackets’ two goalies in Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins are speculative trade targets if they want to make a move to bring in a new starter while Devan Dubnyk and Curtis McElhinney are the best of the healthy UFAs that remain on the open market.