The clock is ticking on Jonathan Drouin’s time as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning and he could very well have a new home come Friday night.
According to TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie, there’s a possibility that Drouin could be dealt as soon as Friday. Lavoie noted that the St. Louis Blues, who have been hit with a rash of injuries, are thought to be one of the frontrunners for the 20-year-old.
Lavoie took to Twitter Friday morning to clarify his report further, however, saying that any trade involving Drouin “could be part of a deal involving multiple players” depending on which team he heads to. Lavoie also noted that while the Blues are considered up there on the list of teams interested in Drouin, they’re not the only club chasing the winger and Lightning GM Steve Yzerman won’t trade Drouin unless Yzerman is getting back what he believes to be fair value.
“Any deal that I make has to be what I consider a good deal for the Tampa Bay Lightning,” Yzerman told Sportsnet’s George Stroumboulopoulos earlier this month. “We drafted Jonathan third overall (in 2013), and we drafted him third overall for a reason. We believe he’s going to be a good hockey player in this league.”
Other teams expressing interest reportedly include the Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens. What exactly Yzerman is looking for in return is uncertain, though it seems a defenseman might be part of any deal.
Drouin’s saga with the Lightning has been going on for the better part of January, but stems back to November, according to Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh.
“On behalf of Jonathan Drouin, I formally requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning back in November,” Walsh wrote in a statement posted Jan. 3 by TSN’s Bob 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.”
The situation between the Lightning and Drouin came to the point of the public trade request when Drouin was demoted to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch on Jan. 2. Prior to being demoted, Drouin had struggled with two lower-body injuries and an undisclosed ailment that limited him to 19 games this season. He managed two goals and eight points with the Lightning before his demotion.
Since his demotion, Drouin has played four games for the Crunch. He wowed in his debut with two goals, but hasn’t found the score sheet in the three games since.
Drouin is currently in the second season of his entry level deal and will earn $894,166 this season and next.