Tampa Bay Lightning: Jonathan Drouin Could Learn A Lot From John Scott

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

When you sit back and think about all the chaos surrounding the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Jonathan Drouin trade saga, it becomes clear the NHL rookie could learn something from John Scott.

When the Tampa Bay Lightning originally drafted Jonathan Drouin with their third overall pick in the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft, there were a lot of fans in the Bolts Nation who were ecstatic with the newest addition to the Tampa Bay Lightning roster and simply couldn’t wait to see what Drouin had to offer the predominately young Tampa Bay Lightning team.

Unfortunately, some of those same people who were filled to the brim with excitement and anticipation have seen another side of this young prospect that makes them think twice about the young Quebec native. The shift in opinion started on January 2nd when Jonathan Drouin was assigned to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

The move to send Drouin to Syracuse was not something outside the realm of reason. Drouin had been forced to miss a rather long string of games thanks to an injury, and in order for him to get back on track and be ready to compete at the NHL level, he was sent to the Crunch to get a few games under his belt, shake off some of the rust, and be ready to get back to business. Unfortunately, Drouin didn’t think he needed any help.

The very next day, Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh made a public announcement that Drouin had requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning back in November. The timing of this announcement made some people wonder as to their motives. Was this someone who truly wanted out, or was this a temper tantrum from a young, hot shot player who allowed his ego to overcome his ability.

The longer this situation would drag out, the deeper into the dark abyss Jonathan Drouin would continue to dig himself. The day after Drouin’s “groundbreaking” announcement, his camp made it known they would address the media the following morning. Unfortunately, this seemed like nothing more than a rouse to make people forget everything that happened previously.

When Drouin addressed the media, he absolutely refused to speak about the trade request. Why speak to the media at all when you know good and well you have absolutely no intention of speaking about the one and only topic everyone has on the top of their minds?

At the same time, it seemed as if everything was going according to plan. Jonathan Drouin had embraced his situation and elected to put in the work necessary for him to make his way back to the main roster. Unfortunately, after scoring two goals in his opening encounter, Drouin’s production followed the same pattern it had on the main roster, it fizzled out. Then…it happened.

Related Story: Drouin Suspended Indefinitely By The Tampa Bay Lightning

After just under a month since Jonathan Drouin and his agent attempted to bully Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman into granting their superfluous trade request, Drouin decided he’d had enough and decided to take his skates and go home, refusing to dress for the Syracuse Crunch game on January 20th against the Toronto Marlies.

As you can imagine, this type of behavior is not something widely accepted by a professional sports team; especially one being guided by one of the best general managers in the entire sport. In return, the Tampa Bay Lightning elected to suspend Jonathan Drouin indefinitely without pay. Here we are a couple of weeks later, and the situation hasn’t changed much at all.

Somewhere inside his mind, Jonathan Drouin feels like he has somehow been wronged by the Tampa Bay Lightning and his “skills” would be much more appreciated elsewhere in the National Hockey League. Unfortunately, we don’t see many general managers looking to pick up a young, underperforming player who makes a public spectacle when they don’t get their way.

If you ask us, Jonathan Drouin has no idea what it is to be mistreated by a team, let alone the league as a whole. If there is anyone in the entire National Hockey League that Jonathan Drouin could learn a thing or two from, that player would be former Arizona Coyotes forward John Scott.

Almost everyone in the hockey world knows John Scott and the struggles he endured in his journey to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. For those of you who don’t, allow us to summarize things for you.

John Scott is not the kind of player you generally hear a lot about in the National Hockey League. He is what is known as an enforcer, the player who stands up and drops the gloves when someone wrongs one of their teammates. His role seems simple, but allow us to assure you, it really isn’t.

At the same time, John Scott is one of the most dedicated players in the entire league. He is the kind of player who could care less about personal success, knows exactly where he stands in the grand scheme of things and is simply happy to have the opportunity to lace up his skates and accomplish something that will make his wife and his children proud of him.

When it was announced that John Scott had won the fan vote and had been elected captain of the Pacific Division team, the NHL went into a whirlwind. They couldn’t fathom the thought of having someone at the All-Star game who was a mere enforcer, could they? As a result, they did everything they could to make him walk away from the big event. When Scott decided he would not be bullied out of the event, the league made sure there was no way he would take the ice in Nashville.

Out of nowhere, the Arizona Coyotes announced John Scott had been traded to the Montreal Canadiens. In turn, the Montreal Canadiens immediately assigned Scott to their AHL affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps. This move rendered John Scott ineligible for the NHL All-Star Game. Then…the backlash started.

As most of you know by now, the NHL was met with such backlash from their fans in light of their actions that they had no other choice but to allow Scott to take his rightful place as Pacific Division captain at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. The 2016 NHL All-Star Game turned out to be one of the best shows the NHL has put on to date. Fans were even more excited when the one man who fought so furiously to keep John Scott out of the All-Star Game was forced to hand him the million dollar check for winning the whole thing.

Related Story: 3 Teams Jonathan Drouin Could Be Traded To

Unlike Jonathan Drouin, John Scott truly was mistreated by the National Hockey League. In fact, mistreated is probably a very gross understatement of the actual severity of the situation, some of the other words we could come up with are not exactly what one would call fit for print.

John Scott had every right in the world to spout off at the mouth and bring forth all the fire and brimstone of hell upon the National Hockey League and his former team, but did he do that? Absolutely not. John Scott took the hand the NHL dealt to him and smiled in return.

If you want to know more about John Scott, you should really take a look at the article he wrote for the Players’ Tribune about his journey to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. The piece is titled “A Guy Like Me.” After reading the situation in his own words and learning a little more about where he came from, you will have a whole new respect for John Scott.

There are a few things that separate a player like Jonathan Drouin from a player like John Scott. John Scott doesn’t play the game to win trophies or to see his name up in lights. John Scott plays the game of hockey because it is something he loves to do. While he may not be the first on his team in any category, he is the kind of player who will constantly work to improve himself and ultimately make his team better.

Speaking of teamwork, in Scott’s article for the Players’ Tribune, he said something that resounds very deeply with hockey fans.

"“I’m an NHL player — and, whatever my set of skills may be, that I’m an NHL player is no accident. I genuinely believe that when I’m on the ice, or even just the bench, I make my teammates feel safe to do what they do best.”"

In other words, above all, he will do what it takes to make his team better, even if it means he has to sit on the sidelines from time to time.

If you ask us, these are just a few things Jonathan Drouin could learn from a player like John Scott. As the old saying goes, there is no “I” in team. Another phrase that clearly applies to this situation is, the logo on the front of a hockey sweater is profoundly more important than the name and number on the back.

Jonathan Drouin is only at the beginning of his young, and potentially great career. Unfortunately, if he continues down the path he’s currently on; he may very well quell the flames of his potential before he really has a chance to ignite.

Drouin, your fans implore you, take a page out of the story of John Scott and learn some humility. You have a home here on the Tampa Bay Lightning. The only thing you need to do to regain that place is to put your nose to the grind, put in the work, and prove that not only do you want, but you deserve to be here.

If this is something you clearly cannot do, we wish you the best as you sit at home alone waiting for the phone to ring. Unfortunately, your case will not be expedited by any means. When Steve Yzerman has found the right deal, you will receive a call and not a moment before.

Next: Drouin Continues To Prove What We Suspected All Along

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