The Seattle Kraken would be wise to find Pacific Northwest born players if they can; Tyler Johnson is one of the few in the NHL and reportedly on the trade block.
Unfortunately for Seattle Kraken fans, this news is coming a season too early. Tyler Johnson will likely be bringing the Stanley Cup to Spokane, having won it this season as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That will be the closest to a Washington state homecoming he likely gets. Of course, given his full no-trade clause, there is a chance he digs his heels in and refuses to leave Tampa for now. That might make him an option in a years’ time for the Kraken.
The reigning Stanley Cup Champions have several pressing concerns with their Cup-winning roster. Not least, there’s not enough money to pay everyone to return next year!
A non-fluctuating salary cap spells bad news in Tampa. They were likely hedging their bets that there’d be a little more money to splash around. You can’t imagine some of the Cup-winning heroes’ renewals will come cheap.
Having recently hit 30 years old and still on contract for $5 million against the cap for four more years, he’s not cheap. In fact, the balance of that deal would make him the ideal piece to move on at the Expansion Draft. Provided he’s agreeable to such a deal.
Hearing that Tampa Bay has talked to Tyler Johnson’s camp about working together on a possible move. Johnson has a full no-trade clause. Let’s see where this goes.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 5, 2020
The Lightning will be needing to throw an extra piece in to sweeten any deal. The Seattle Kraken will be rubbing their hands at adding even an extra third-round pick. They’re all useful for building a new team!
And of course, for the Seattle Kraken, it’d be great to have a local face on-board.
While his meagre 31 regular-season points last year don’t exactly scream value, maybe he gets his fresh start. Perhaps he finds the form that led him to a 72 point campaign back in 2014-15?
A lot needs to happen though to ensure he does become a Seattle Kraken option.
Firstly, the Tampa Bay Lightning need to not trade him in the meantime. They need to hold onto Johnson until the Expansion Draft.
Secondly, he needs to waive his contractual no-move clause to ensure he can go unprotected.
Thirdly, Ron Francis needs to see value in adding his contract. Indeed, that might mean Tampa throwing in a little extra!
A lot certainly needs to line up, but I see no reason why Tyler Johnson won’t be the hometown hero returning to play in Washington state. It truly depends on what the player wants though. This summer, it’s his decision whether to allow Tampa to seek a trade partner.