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What Will The Tampa Bay Lightning Do With Jonathan Drouin?

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

How do we feel this Jonathan Drouin situation will work out for the Tampa Bay Lightning?

Drouin's recent trade request was a while in the making, but I doubt the fact that it's been made public will force any precipitous move by Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. That's because Yzerman is not going to sell low on the former first-round pick, no matter how public this situation has become.

A trade will only happen when the Lightning feel they can get proper value in return for a player they feel can still be a big-time offensive asset. Drouin's next move is going to be interesting, too. Will he report to the team's AHL affiliate in Syracuse after being reassigned over the weekend? If he doesn't, he's looking at a potential suspension.

The smart move for the kid is to show up and play in the AHL, which should eventually lead to being called back to Tampa. If he wants out, playing as hard as he can and as well as he can, augmenting his value in the process, is the best course of action. But again, don't expect Yzerman forcing a trade here just to appease the player.

A lot is at stake for the Bolts, including the message that the whims of players won't dictate their actions. Coach Jon Cooper will be criticized by many for the way he's handled Drouin, but I'm not sure that's fair. Cooper was hard on Nikita Kucherov a few years ago, limiting Kucherov's role until his defensive game rounded out. Kucherov responded last season and his role increased as a result. That opportunity likely would have been there for Drouin had the kid been more patient. I understand the frustration, and I've met Drouin and know he has a good heart. I just think he could have been a little more patient here. Thoughts?

continue to ESPN for Burnside, Custance and McDonald on Drouin...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+drouin

Comments

nEgativezEro's avatar

Drouin is having his “Mantha” moment in Tampa. Just because you light it up in the Q does not mean you will do so as a pro. While I do agree that he hasn’t been handled in the greatest fashion, he also hasn’t really done a lot to prove his NHL worthiness. His underlying numbers are generally good, but it’s hard to say how much of that can be attributed to a strong possession team like Tampa and his competition quality.

He’s in a tough spot. Obviously the lack of traction has made his agent go public with the request, but as most of the MSM has pointed out, he has absolutely zero leverage in this situation. Tampa controls his contract, he hasn’t done anything to bring value back in a trade, and Yzerman isn’t going to move him just to appease his demand. Stevie is shrewd, he’ll wait for a deal that brings back fair value. Unfortunately, not many teams are going to give up value based on “what he could be”. They’ll give up value on “what he is”, which right now looks like a bust of a #3 overall pick.

I get some of the Seguin comparisons, but Seguin was already good when Boston traded him. They had problems with the supposed off-ice issues, but the on-ice product was pretty good, even if Boston fans saw it otherwise. Drouin has done nothing to stand out so far, even if his skills/ice-time have been mismanaged. Whether or not they have, I’m not sure.

Stamkos didn’t have a particularly great rookie year either, and he turned out okay.

Posted by nEgativezEro on 01/04/16 at 12:17 PM ET

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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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