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Tyler Johnson re-signs with Lightning on 7-year, $35 million contract

Johnson gets an annual cap hit of $5 million through 2024.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed forward Tyler Johnson to a seven-year extension worth $5 million annually, the team announced Monday. That’s a total of $35 million on the deal, which runs through the 2023-24 season.

Johnson was one of the Lightning’s final two restricted free agents along with Ondrej Palat. Tampa Bay had over $13.6 million in cap space prior to the deal, per Cap Friendly, so there’s at least $8 million left over to retain Palat and fill out the remainder of the roster.

An undersized forward who went undrafted, Johnson signed on with the Lightning in 2011. He made his NHL debut in 2013 and was named to his first All-Star Game two years ago. Last season with Tampa Bay, he recorded 19 goals and 26 assists in 66 games.

That’s down from a peak of 29 goals and 43 assists in 2014-15, when he seemed to be on his way to becoming one of the best centers in the Eastern Conference. Still, his performance over the past few seasons was enough to convince Lightning GM Steve Yzerman to commit on a seven-year deal.

Tampa Bay will have to make up for the loss of young forward Jonathan Drouin, who was traded to the Canadiens, and Johnson will play a key role there. Better fortune with health would go a long way toward getting the Bolts back on track.