Kukla's Korner Hockey
TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the team after his failure to report for tonight’s game between the Syracuse Crunch and the Toronto Marlies, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced this evening. The team will make no further comment at this time.
added 7:26pm, below, a statement from Drouin's agent...
NHL analyst Elliotte Friedman tells HC at Noon that if Jonathan Drouin was traded to the Montreal Canadiens right now, he’d be expected to be the saviour.
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
I’m not seeing a deal happening before the trade deadline. I’m also not seeing Stamkos agreeing to a trade that would make him some Western Conference rental player the rest of the season.
That leaves the other scenarios.
1) Stamkos gets traded after the season, before free agency.
2) Stamkos and the Lightning come to terms after the season, before free agency.
3) Stamkos traipses into free agency. The Lightning get nothing.
Looking stronger every week.
Meanwhile, in a big game against division-leading Florida on Sunday night, Stamkos had only 14 minutes, 55 seconds of ice time — eighth among Lightning forwards. J.T. Brown had 2 more minutes of even-strength playing time than Stamkos.
Not exactly star treatment.
Is this how major players get treated by franchises bent on keeping them?
Not on my score sheet.
Patrick Kane with his first, regula season hat trick.
Vladislav Namestnikov had a 'hatty' too for the Tampa Bay Lightning...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It’s also why the new Kopitar contract, expected to be announced Friday, may have little impact on the negotiations involving the other key centre approaching unrestricted free agency this summer – Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, who is not close to signing an extension with the Lightning.
There are some who link the two negotiations on the grounds that players of their calibre are usually locked up years before they hit the market. But upon closer examination, it really isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison.
Stamkos, at 25, is three years younger than Kopitar, but his team hasn’t had nearly the same success as the Kings or the Blackhawks, captained by another great centre, the much-admired Jonathan Toews.
Toews and Kopitar are annually in the running for the Selke Trophy which, while nominally awarded to the NHL’s best defensive forward, has really morphed into a way of acknowledging the game’s best two-way player.
And while Toews’s leadership skills are considered unparalleled in today’s NHL, Kopitar is a touch better offensively. He has led the Kings in scoring for eight consecutive years, and Darryl Sutter – a very hard coach to please – has long called him the best centre he’s ever had.
Stamkos has a different skill set. He is a far more gifted goal-scorer than Toews and Kopitar. In the current NHL, only Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and perhaps Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks are in his company.
But as a rule, general managers tend to loosen the purse strings more for players who’ve led them to championships.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Last year’s 43rd game against the Buffalo Sabres sparked the Wild’s second-half turnaround and surge into the playoffs. In 82 games since Devan Dubnyk’s Jan. 15, 2015 debut, the Wild was 50-21-11 for 111 points, one point fewer than Washington and the Rangers for most in the NHL in that span.
The Wild better hope Tuesday’s 43rd game against the Sabres doesn’t trigger the opposite.
Facing the team with the second-fewest points in the NHL, the Wild spotted the Sabres a three-goal first-period lead and could not complete the uphill climb before falling 3-2 in just the latest disappointing home loss.
“The first period, the game was lost there right away,” center Erik Haula said. “That’s three games in a row now at home, and it’s unacceptable. It’s quite embarrassing.”
Also from Russo,
A week after missing out on Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher has his sights set on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, multiple sources say.
The Wild is one of several teams having trade talks with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. Other teams pursuing Drouin, according to league sources, include St. Louis, Anaheim, the Rangers, Islanders, Colorado, Winnipeg, Montreal and New Jersey.
The price for Drouin, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, is considered a young player of similar ilk. From the Wild, the Lightning has asked for defenseman Matt Dumba, sources say, a pending restricted free agent coming out of his entry-level contract.
Below, watch Mike Yeo post-game...
Steve Yzerman talks with George Stroumboulopoulos about Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Drouin’s trade request and his relationship with head coach Jon Cooper.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Peter Chiarelli is friendly with Steve Yzerman. Chiarelli worked for Yzerman, Team Canada’s general manager, during the 2014 Winter Olympics. The two collaborated on the Brett Connolly trade, one of Chiarelli’s final transactions before he was fired by the Bruins.
It’s a good bet, then, that Yzerman has considered the fallout of Chiarelli’s July 4, 2013, trade of Tyler Seguin when considering the future of Jonathan Drouin.
Trading Seguin may become one of the worst deals in Bruins history. It’s possible that after this season, Joe Morrow will be the only player remaining in Boston from the original trade. Seguin, meanwhile, is on pace to earn a Hall of Fame plaque.
Based on skill, Drouin could end up in the same destination. There are few players who have the speed, quickness, hands, and creativity of the Tampa wing. The 20-year-old has not even come close to reaching his potential.
Yet Drouin, for some reason, already wants out from the organization that drafted him third overall in 2013. The Lightning will be in no hurry to accommodate Drouin’s wish. His age, ceiling, and lack of movement leaguewide indicate a trade will not happen any time soon.
Yzerman has a lot to lose by trading Drouin. Twenty-nine of his rivals know he’s selling low. In 19 games this season, Drouin has two goals and six assists. He has not done much with his opportunity. In 89 career NHL games, Drouin has six goals and 34 assists.
more on Drouin plus numerous other hockey topics...
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
The Lightning scored three third-period goals, all of them going in off Edmonton players, to post a 3-2 decision and win their first game at Rexall Place since 2007.
Three own goals in a span of 13 minutes?
You had to see it to believe it. And even the people who saw it had trouble processing what happened.
“I’ve never seen three go in like that,” said a baffled Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “We were kind of dictating the play for most of the game, so that was tough to swallow.”
Imagine being goalie Cam Talbot. With friends like these, he didn’t need any enemies on Friday.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” sighed the losing goalie who stopped everything Tampa shot at him, just not everything Edmonton did.
“When the only goals that they score go off of our guys, there is nothing you can do in games like that. I thought we played well enough that we should have won that game, but they got the bounces and we didn’t.
“It’s extremely frustrating. Especially where we are in the standings. We need every point that we can get. When points slip away like that when you are doing the right things for most of the game, that is tough to swallow.”
Game highlights are below...
The Colorado Avalanche may have interest too, via Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Tampa Bay assistant general manager Pat Verbeek was at the Colorado-St. Louis game Wednesday, and that's just one of the reasons it's not outlandish to ponder whether the Avalanche and Roy -- who coached against MacKinnon and Drouin in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was on the losing end of a seven-game QMJHL final in 2013 -- might be looking at trying to acquire Drouin. Also, the Lightning will be in Denver to face the Avalanche Tuesday.
Mike Johnston of Sportsnet with this...
The Lightning have approximately $2 million in cap space to work with, which could potentially complicate things since they’d likely require at least one quality roster player in return for Drouin. It’s believed the Lightning are looking for a right-handed, puck-moving defenceman and/or a forward with a decent amount of term remaining on his contract.
With that in mind, here are seven teams in a position to make a push to acquire Drouin in the near future.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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