Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/21/16 at 11:15 AM ET
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
And now, the game of chicken really begins. Where do you guys stand on the Jonathan Drouin-Tampa Bay Lightning standoff?
Now suspended without pay after failing to report for an AHL game, it will be one of two outcomes for Drouin: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman takes the best offer and ends this thing, perhaps concerned that Drouin is a diminishing asset while sitting out; or Yzerman digs in even more, knowing he can be patient because Drouin hasn't really been part of the team this season anyway, and he can let Drouin stew at home.
If a trade happens within the next few days, people will say agent Allan Walsh played a strong card and forced Yzerman's hand. If the deal doesn't happen for a while, what you will hear is that Walsh and Drouin misplayed their hand. And here's why: I've already had a few NHL hockey execs tell me Drouin refusing to play on in the AHL raises a red flag for them on the player's makeup, makes them wonder about giving up the assets they were prepared to part with in return for Drouin. On the flip side, some teams will stick to the belief that a change of scenery is all the kid needs to flourish.
I will say that Yzerman had no choice but to suspend Drouin once the kid refused to play anymore. This isn't just about Drouin, but also about sending a message that agents and/or players can't strongarm the team. The question is, what do you do if you're Yzerman at this point? Make your best deal, or dig in and wait for a better deal?
continue for more on Drouin...
added 4:08pm, Watch some of Yzerman's conference below...
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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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