Jonathan Drouin’s agent, Allan Walsh, asked the Tampa Bay Lightning to trade his client back in November, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
The rocky road between the Lightning and Drouin took a turn on Saturday when the Bolts sent the 20-year-old to the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch.
“On behalf of Jonathan Drouin, I formally requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning back in November,” Walsh told McKenzie. “We have not said one word about this untenable situation publicly until today.
“It’s in everyone’s best interest that Jonathan be allowed to move on and play hockey.”
Drouin has struggled this season with just one goal in his last 16 games. Drouin has also battled multiple injuries, which limited him to 19 of Tampa’s first 38 games.
“Lets be clear, Jonathan loves playing for fans in Tampa, he loves his teammates and many people within the Lightning organization have treated him well,” Walsh said. “It was his sincere intention to play in Tampa for many years.”
Drouin returned to Tampa Bay’s lineup on Wednesday after missing seven games with a lower body injury. He has two goals and six assists this season.
Lightning GM Steve Yzerman responded to Walsh's comment on Sunday night confirming Drouin has requested a trade.
"We acknowledge, via communication from his agent, Jonathan Drouin’s request to be traded," Yzerman said in a statement. "Moving forward, my sole intention is to act in the best interest of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club. In the meantime, Jonathan has been assigned to our American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, and we expect him to report for practice with the rest of his teammates this Tuesday morning.”
Drouin has one year remaining on his entry-level contract with a cap hit of $894,166.
Originally Tampa’s first-round pick (3rd overall) in 2013, Drouin has appeared in 89 games with the Bolts over two seasons scoring six goals and 40 points.