Jonathan Drouin Requests Trade From Tampa Bay Lightning

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin announced through his agent that he has formally requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

There has certainly been a fair share of drama here in the Bolts Nation this season. Much of said drama has come as a result of the overwhelming amount of injuries the Tampa Bay Lightning has been forced to deal with this season. Unfortunately, just as most of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s injury issues have been resolved, a whole new issue has come creeping into town like a monster in the night.

As most of you know by now, Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced yesterday the Lightning organization had elected to assign Jonathan Drouin to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. While it seemed to be all quiet on the Eastern front in the aftermath of the announcement, it seems all is not well here in the Bolts Nation.

This is where things start to get awful interesting. According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Steve Yzerman stated Drouin was well aware of the reasoning behind the move. This would indicate the two sides walked away from the table with some sort of an understanding. However, Tampa Bay Lightning fans heard a whole other side of the story from someone else.

According to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, Jonathan Drouin seemed much less than pleased with the news he had just received from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Vice President and General Manager.

In the beginning, we attempted to chalk this one up to a player being disappointed in their performance and understandably displeased at being send down to the American Hockey League for any period of time. Well…things are not always what they seem, and there was most certainly more to this situation than anyone here in the Bolts Nation ever expected.

According to, Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh released a statement saying the young Lightning winger was displeased with the path in which his career was taking and had requested to be traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning back in November.

"“On behalf of Jonathan Drouin, I formally requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning back in November,” Walsh said in a statement. “We have not said one word about this untenable situation publicly until today. It’s in everyone’s best interests that Jonathan be allowed to move on and play hockey. Let’s be clear, Jonathan loves playing for the fans in Tampa, he loves his teammates and many people within the Lightning organization have treated him well. It was his sincere intention to play in Tampa for many years.” ~ via"

Does anyone else see the timing of this release rather convenient? If this trade was requested all the way back in November, why wait until now to make the news public? We understand that not everything that happens behind closed doors is meant to be divulged to the public at large, but if it is good enough to be released now, why not back then? The answer to this one is leverage.

It seems as if Jonathan Drouin, or at least his agent, is displeased with the fact that he has been assigned to the Syracuse Crunch for whatever reason, and is now issuing this statement to either besmirch the team or to bully the team into giving him what he desires.

Here’s the thing, as Erik Erlendsson said earlier today on Twitter, a request is just that…a request. Under no circumstances is Steve Yzerman under any obligation to grant Drouin his request. Jonathan Drouin is under contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning until the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, at which point his future will still be decided in large by the Tampa Bay Lightning as Drouin will then become a Restricted Free Agent.

When push comes to shove, the only one here with leverage is Steve Yzerman.

Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, Drouin has not performed on the level necessary to remain here on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s main roster. Could his recent bout with injuries have something to do with this? Quite possibly. This is the exact reason in why sending Drouin to the AHL was absolutely the right decision by Yzerman.

If Drouin can report to the Syracuse Crunch as instructed, work on getting his game back to where it needs to be, and really showing Yzerman and the rest of the coaching staff he belongs on the Lightning’s main roster, then there is a good chance he’ll find himself back here sooner rather than later. At the same time, if Drouin fails to prove himself, it could very well be the end of the line for the young Lightning forward.

Drouin holds his destiny in his hands. If he wants to succeed in the National Hockey League, he needs to prove it. According to Joe Smith, Syracuse Crunch Head Coach Rob Zettler doesn’t expect Drouin to play for the next couple of days, but expects him to be at practice with the team on Tuesday. It will certainly be interesting to see how this situation plays out.

Smith also states there is a possibility Steve Yzerman will address the situation with Drouin later today; however, that is up in the air at this point as the team is busy traveling to Calgary for their game on Tuesday night.

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