Johnson's Hatter Derails the Rangers

Published on 19-May-2015 by Alan Adamsson

NHL    NHL Daily Update

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Johnson's Hatter Derails the Rangers

It's all about perspective meeting reality.

Here's the latest example:

While the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres are giddy with the anticipation of what the NHL's first and second overall draft choices will mean to their immediate futures, the Tampa Bay Lightning are a series away from another Stanley Cup finals appearance.

And one of the main cogs to their machine is an undrafted little dude:

Tyler Johnson was cut from enough mainstream pipeline teams that it's a wonder he's not selling cars in his home town of Spokane. Not big enough, they said. Not a touted brand name, they inferred.

Yeah, right.

And to think any team doing a bit of homework could've seen Johnson's speed and hockey sense, tossed stereotypes about size and reputation to the wind, signed him for peppercorn, planted him in their farm system, and let him adapt to his surroundings.

Full marks to Tampa Bay, then.

Of course, when the Lightning won their Cup back in 2004, one of their sparkplugs was another unheralded, undrafted player who was too small to be taken seriously as an NHL prospect.

Look familiar?

Ironically, Martin St Louis is expected to counter anything Johnson does in this series. He'd best turn it up.