Jonathan Drouin Addresses The Media In Syracuse (Video)

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

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin addresses the media in Syracuse just one day after the announcement was made he wants out of Tampa Bay.

When it was announced yesterday that Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin was set to address the media this morning, there were many questions that came to the minds of fans here in the Bolts Nation. Almost all of those questions surrounded the fact that Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh announced the Tampa Bay Lightning 3rd overall pick requested a trade from the team back in November.

Some of the questions that immediately come to mind are topics like, “What could have caused a rift like this one,” “Why wait so long to make the announcement,” “What does he hope to gain from the strategic timing of such a release,” and more importantly “how does he feel this announcement is going to help guide him on his path back to the National Hockey League?”

Unfortunately, not a single one of those questions were answered today in Syracuse. In fact, Jonathan Drouin seems to have taken the Marshawn Lynch point of view and simply refuse to address any and all questions relating to his trade request.

As you can imagine, the very first question he was asked is why he wants out of Tampa Bay. This question was preceded with an assumption that Jonathan Drouin knew ahead of time the announcement of his trade request was going to be made public yesterday. This is essentially where Drouin’s hands went up in the air.

"“I’m not going to answer any questions about the trade request,” Drouin said. “That’s between my agent and Steve [Yzerman]. “The only thing I’m going to do is play hockey here.”"

Much like we would have, the press continued their line of questioning by asking the obvious follow up to the previous question, you drop a bomb like this one and you’re going to act like “no big deal?”

"“Like I said, I’m not commenting on the situation,” Drouin said. “I’m just here to play hockey.”"

Unmoved by Jonathan Drouin’s two previous refusals to speak on the situation, the line of questioning moves to his relationship with the team. What did Drouin have to say about this? You guessed it…absolutely nothing. After a short pause, Drouin responded with the stereotypical answer for this kind of situation.

"“It’s that I’m not answering any questions about that.” Drouin said with an almost condescending look on his face."

A little later in the press conference, Drouin was asked how his teammates have responded to the news regarding his trade request. For the umpteenth million time, Drouin still refused to utter a single syllable about the trade request that rocked the Bolts Nation yesterday.

"“Like I just said guys, I’m not talking about the trade request or anything here.” Drouin said. “It’s just how it is.”"

There are so many more questions to be answered here, but before we get into all that, let’s take a look at the things he actually did want to talk about.

When one of the members of the press asked him what the last couple of days had been like for him, Drouin was rather quick to respond.

"“Well, pretty good.” Drouin replied. “Like I said, I’m happy to be here. I’m part of the Syracuse Crunch right now.”"

Then…it happened. Drouin was finally asked one of the burning questions we have been dying to hear the answer to. Jonathan Drouin was asked what he thought he needed to do in order to make it back to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s main roster.

"“I’ve been out on injury, so it’s been a while,” Drouin said. “Just play my game.”"

On the bright side, it seems as if Jonathan Drouin is prepared to put in the work needed in order to make his way back to the National Hockey League, whether it be here in Tampa Bay or on one of the other 29 teams in the league.

"“I’m excited.” Drouin said. “I was here last year. I had a lot of fun when I came down here last year and I’m excited to get started on Friday."

The Syracuse Crunch is set to take on the Albany Devils, the American Hockey League affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at the Times Union Center in Albany. The Crunch will definitely be looking for a win in Albany, especially after experiencing back-to-back losses to the Toronto Marlies last weekend.

When Drouin was asked what he felt he needed to improve on to make his way to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s main roster, he seemed genuinely interested in improving his game.

"“I played my game up there, and they sent me down so it’s up to me to put in the work and get back up there and like I said, I’m excited to get this started.”"

Now, that Drouin seemed to have opened up to the media a little, one reporter hit him with a burning question many of us here in the Bolts Nation have been dying to hear the answer to. Has Jonathan Drouin played his last game as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning?

"“It’s going to be up to me, like I said, to prove that and go back up there.” Drouin replied."

Before we get to our take on the situation, take a look at the press conference for yourself and see what kind of deductions you come to from all of this.

The first, and probably most obvious question we have here is, just 24 hours after dropping a bomb on everyone here in Tampa Bay, why hold a press conference at all if you’re not going to discuss the issues everybody wants to know about?

At some point, Drouin had to know the bulk of the questions posed to him were going to be about the trade request. We can certainly understand the issue regarding all of the backlash he’s received since his trade request went public, but we would think this would be the perfect opportunity for him to clear the air about any inconsistencies in his intentions and get everyone on the same page. Apparently, this was not his intention.

The one thing we said when all of this chaos started still rings very true right now. The future of Jonathan Drouin and his career in the National Hockey League rests squarely in his own hands. If he is truly willing to put in the work to refine his game and prove to people like Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman and Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper that he belongs here, then he will be back.

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If not, it could very well be the beginning of the end of the career of a talented, young player who has the potential to be one of the next big things in the game of hockey. We certainly hope he takes the high road in all of this. All we can do right now and sit back and watch as this story unfolds on the ice.

What do you think of Jonathan Drouin’s comments during the press conference? Do you think he was sincere in his assertion he plans to play his hardest and do everything he can to make it back to the Lightning’s main roster, or do you think he is simply trying to placate the fans and cool some of the heat he’s taken in light of his trade request? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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