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What’s Next In The Jonathan Drouin Saga?

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...

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


TreKronor's avatar

Drouin really hurt the value TBL would receive in a trade for him by doing this.  Considering his mediocre play this year and his attitude, I wouldn’t be surprised if Yzerman waits until the summer to trade the kid just to try to get a better return for him. 

What’s Yzerman’s hurry in all of this, anyways?  He’s got time; Drouin doesn’t appear to be an impact player to help any other team’s Cup run, so is any team going to give up much for him right now?

Posted by TreKronor on 01/21/16 at 11:47 AM ET

DocF's avatar

I have seen Drouin play.  This kid has no clue what he is doing and is far from ready to be an NHL forward.  Right now, his is playing a level where he should be a spare part on an ECHL team.  He needs at least one or two seasons in minor pro hockey before he could even be considered an NHL prospect.


Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 01/21/16 at 11:48 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

There’s an entitlement problem in the Gulf. Just have to outlast it which is what Yzerman doing

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/21/16 at 10:45 AM ET

I have to wonder if it’s much more than that though.  Why would Marty St. Louis leave this team?  I can’t imagine it’s because he wanted to play one way and the coach wanted him to play another.  Now there’s Stamkos.  Now Drouin. 

There’s something going on down there in that locker room.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/21/16 at 11:49 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Agreed Doc, plays half the ice, on the offensive side of center ice.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/21/16 at 11:49 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Yzerman just met with the media, says nothing has changed, looking out for the best interests of the Bolts and he also said never told Drouin camp a deal was close.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/21/16 at 11:52 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

What a damn mess. Looks absolutely horrible on Walsh + Drouin’s part.

Maybe we’re missing some significant aspect to the story but I really, really doubt it.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 01/21/16 at 12:08 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Kid needs a new agent. He’s tainted now. Who would want this little diva on their team? Maybe he’s not even a diva, but his agent sure is painting a non-flattering picture.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 01/21/16 at 12:35 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Frank Seravalli of TSN recaps Yzerman’s meeting with the media today.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/21/16 at 12:37 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I tried to connect some dots here to make sense of St. Louis, Stamkos, and Drouin…. and I failed in every attempt (including going back and looking at their player agents).

St. Louis felt snubbed bc of Olympics and his GM being the GM and he’s supposed to be a top guy still.

Stamkos doesn’t want to play wing.  Hence all the drama, because a player didn’t want to help the team they way the coach saw he wanted to do what he wanted to do.

Now Drouin.

I think this is ultimately probably the truth/root: there are just 3 separate instances.  I think St. Louis was probably a big baby, Stamkos maybe isn’t but just wants to test the market and see what other situation he can put himself into, and Drouin is a spoiled diaper baby with a diaper baby for an agent.

The fact that Walsh continue to try to negotiate through the media is testament to how little leverage he and Drouin actually have.  Because it’s the only tool Walsh has, and yet it makes his agent look worse every single time.  In fact, it may actually deter other teams from even having interest in him.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again:  If I were Yzerman, I’d bury Drouin in Syracuse and force his hand.  Either he plays and proves he has what it takes, or he sits and then Yzerman can file a grievance to get his entry level contract extended for failing to oblige it.

There’s not a GM or player that would or should hold it against Yzerman if he does it, this is a entry-level player who has proven himself to be a minor leaguer at best not only showing he’s a poor teammate, but that he doe not grasp his own place.

Sure is a funny thing though, down the road.  DET took Frk and people said Drouin made him, and yet Frk has developed and slowly grown and proven himself in the ECHL and then the AHL to the point where DET might be optimistic on him again as a future scorer.  And on the other hand, Drouin went to the NHL right away, has not exactly grown or developed, and might be a total bust because of attitude problems.

Attitude:  it’s more important than you think.  Paying your dues can pay off.

Posted by Primis on 01/21/16 at 01:14 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I’d let the snot nose little punk rot away right at home.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 01/21/16 at 02:15 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Wings fans know this situation all too well:  Tricky Dicky Axelsson.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 01/21/16 at 04:57 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Added a short video of Yzerman talking with the media to the post.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/21/16 at 05:10 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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