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Tyler Johnson: Best shape of my life candidate?

Pittsburgh Penguins v Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 5: Tyler Johnson #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the Amalie Arena on February 5, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

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This may or may not become a running feature on PHT ...

Ah, September.

For NHL fans, this month signals training camps, at least in non-lockout years. It also means that, for some weary readers, there will be a lot of stories about Player X being in the best shape of his life.

By no means is this a hockey-specific phenomenon. One imagines that somewhere, there are articles about dart throwers discovering yoga and totally changing the ways they aim at the board.

Assuming this trope surfaces again, let’s have fun with it. And part of having fun with it means taking a look at how certain stories might still transcend the trope enough to be interesting, or at least different.

Tyler Johnson provided the latest example, although credit him (or the author of the piece, the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith) for not uttering the best shape of his/my life phrase.

Johnson, 27, has been plagued by injuries lately, particularly when it comes to hurting his wrist. His summer routine includes a mixture of the usual, like switching to the Keto diet ...

“I changed everything,” Johnson said. “I changed the way I ate, the way I trained, the way I moved. I think it feels a lot better.”

... But there were also fancier elements, such as Johnson going as far as to take an ASPI (Applied Science & Performance Institute) body science test.

The ASPI site is pretty nifty; it even has a DNA strand to let you know that things are about to get science-y.

So, it seems like Johnson is taking this seriously, which is nice for the Tampa Bay Lightning what with that costly contract extension and all. As a teammate of Steven Stamkos, you wonder if Johnson at least considered Gary Roberts’ intense training regimen as well, but maybe next year?

If you want a change of pace, Jonathan Toews actually took it easier this summer, positing that “might have overdone it” during previous off-seasons. More on that from CSN Chicago.