Johnson, pick traded to Blackhawks by Lightning for Seabrook

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Tyler Johnson was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday for Brent Seabrook.

Chicago also received a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. 

Johnson, a forward who will turn 31 on July 29, has three seasons remaining on a seven-year, $35 million contract ($5 million average annual value) he signed with the Lightning on July 10, 2017.

Seabrook, a defenseman who turned 36 on April 20, said in March that he was ending his playing career because of an injury to his right hip. His eight-year contract, with an annual average value of $6.875 million, runs through the 2023-24 season.

Johnson scored 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 55 regular-season games and seven points (four goals, three assists) in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Lightning win the Stanley Cup for the second straight season.

“Tyler Johnson adds a large amount of skill and depth to our offense,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. “His versatility across the lineup, two-way play and championship experience throughout his career make our lineup stronger. We look forward to watching the immediate impact he will have on our team.”

 

[RELATED: 2021-22 NHL Trade Tracker]

 

Signed by Tampa Bay on March 7, 2011, Johnson scored 361 points (161 goals, 200 assists) in 589 regular-season games and 65 points (32 goals, 33 assists) in 116 playoff games. 

Johnson is tied with Steven Stamkos for sixth in Lightning playoff goals and is eighth in assists and points.

“I’d like to personally thank Tyler for what he has meant to this organization over the past nine years since he joined the Lightning as an undrafted free agent,” Tampa Bay general manager Julien BriseBois said. “He played a pivotal role in the success the team has enjoyed and will forever be remembered as two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Bolts. We wish him all the best in Chicago.”

The Lightning played last season with forward Marian Gaborik and goalie Anders Nilsson on long-term injured reserve after they were acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators. Each of those contracts has expired.

With forward Nikita Kucherov also on long-term injured reserve during the regular season, the Lightning had more than $17 million in NHL salary cap relief, allowing them to exceed the $81.5 million cap by that much.

Seabrook did not play this season and was on long-term injured reserve.

“I would first like to thank Brent for his cooperation in this process,” Bowman said. “Throughout his career, Brent put his team first, and we appreciate all his many accomplishments with and contributions to the Chicago Blackhawks. He will be remembered as a champion and will always be a part of the Blackhawks family.”

Seabrook last played Dec. 15, 2019. He had shoulder surgery 12 days later, had a procedure on his left hip in January 2020 and one on his right hip in February 2020.

“Over a three-month period from December 2019 to February 2020, Brent underwent successful surgeries on both of his hips and his right shoulder,” Blackhawks physician Dr. Michael Terry said. “He has worked extremely hard to recover from those surgeries but has a long-term issue with his right hip that is preventing him from playing professional hockey. We have tried all available conservative treatments, and nothing has worked well enough for him to live life as an athlete.”

Seabrook was selected by the Blackhawks in the first round (No. 11) of the 2003 NHL Draft and scored 464 points (103 goals, 316 assists) in 1,114 NHL games. He scored 59 points (20 goals, 39 assists) in 123 playoff games, helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

“I am so proud to have played my entire 15-year National Hockey League career in Chicago with the Blackhawks,” Seabrook said. “It was an honor to play the game that I love, with teammates I love, in front of fans I love, in a city that my family and I have grown to love. After several surgeries, countless hours of rehab and training to get back on the ice at the level of my expectations, it will not be possible for me to continue playing hockey. This is what is best for me and my family.”

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