Jonathan Drouin Recalled by Lightning from AHL

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin before an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Lightning left winger Jonathan Drouin formally requested a trade from the team amid troubles finding playing time. He was not dealt before the Feb. 29 deadline, and after a stint in the AHL, has been recalled to the NHL roster.

Continue for updates.

Drouin Recalled From Syracuse

Thursday, April 7

The Lightning announced Drouin was recalled along with defenseman Matt Taormina, with defenseman Slater Koekkoek being sent to Syracuse as part of the roster moves.

The move is a surprise given that Frank Seravalli of TSN first reported on Feb. 29 that Drouin was "not expected to return to the Lightning," despite not being dealt before the trade deadline. 

Seravalli reported Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman's offer to Drouin to return was "believed to only include AHL Syracuse and not a return to the Lightning. No matter: even if the offer was extended to join the Lightning before their playoff run, Drouin is not believed to be interested."

Drouin's Suspension Lifted

Monday, March 7

Yzerman announced on Monday that the Lightning "have lifted the suspension of [Drouin] and he will report to the Syracuse Crunch for practice [Tuesday] morning."

Yzerman Comments on Drouin's Future with Lightning

Tuesday, March 1

"Jonathan is suspended," Yzerman told reporters after failing to deal Drouin before the trade deadline. "If he wants to come back and play, the door is open. That’s up to him.”

Drouin Linked to Ducks

Monday, Feb. 29

Jimmy Murphy of BruinsDaily.com reported the Anaheim Ducks are "deep in talks" with the Lightning about acquiring Drouin.

Majority of NHL Has Inquired on Drouin

Saturday, Feb. 27

Bob McKenzie of TSN reported "15 to 20 teams" have contacted Tampa Bay about a trade for Drouin, although McKenzie also noted he has "no strong sense" of where the winger will land. 

He broke down the significant list of teams that have inquired about Drouin:

Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie

Teams, at times, with maybe > than cursory int: ANA, ARI, BOS, CAR, CHI, COL, MIN, MTL, NSH, NJD, NYI, NYR, OTT, PHI, SJ, STL, TOR, VAN, WPG

McKenzie added the Lightning were expecting to get a piece who could help them immediately, as well as a prospect and potentially a draft pick.

Drouin Linked to Senators

Thursday, Feb. 11

"According to two TVA reporters, Ottawa Senators general manager [Bryan Murray] is now the front-runner to land [Drouin]," said Luke Fox of Sportsnet.

"TVA's Louis Jean reported the news Wednesday night, and colleague Renaud Lavoie asserted he had heard the same thing Thursday morning on The Jeff Blair Show," Fox also noted.

Montreal Reportedly Among Teams Interested in Drouin

Monday, Jan. 18

McKenzie the Canadiens are "one of handful of teams with serious interest" in Drouin but added "it's near impossible to handicap front-runner/timeline." McKenzie also noted Montreal's Rick Dudley was in Syracuse watching Drouin.

On Jan. 5, the New York Post's Larry Brooks reported the "[New York] Rangers are among a group of teams that have inquired about Tampa Bay’s disgruntled 20-year-old left wing [Drouin], multiple sources have told the Post, with one informant reporting the Blueshirts 'are in big-time on this.'"

Drouin Comments on Trade Rumors

Saturday, Jan. 16

"I don't really decide. It's up to them (Tampa Bay)," Drouin said when asked about the possibility of being traded, per Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com. "But we'll see what happens the next couple days."

When pressed about his response, Drouin said "Oh, I don't know. I'm just saying we'll see what's going on, and...if I go up or get traded. So, I'll see how it goes."

On Jan. 5, Drouin spoke to reporters, telling them he's "working hard to get back up" to the Lightning but would not comment on his relationship with the organization. The winger also said the issue is between his agent and the Lightning, and would not comment on the trade request.

Cooper Comments on Trade Request

Monday, Jan. 4

"It's tough as a coach when somebody wants out," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said, per Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, adding he would welcome Drouin back into the fold.

Lightning Acknowledge Trade Request

Sunday, Jan. 3

Yzerman spoke on Drouin's request, per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet:

We acknowledge, via communication from his agent, Jonathan Drouin's request to be traded. Moving forward, my sole intention is to act in the best interest of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club. In the meantime, Jonathan has been assigned to our American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, and we expect him to report for practice with the rest of his teammates this Tuesday morning.

Former Top Pick Requests a Trade

Sunday, Jan. 3

Drouin's agent, Allan Walsh, confirmed the request came in November in a statement released to McKenzie:

Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie

A statement from Jonathan Drouin's agent Allan Walsh regarding his client's future in TB: https://t.co/Vhwet1IpTW

The No. 3 overall pick in 2013, Drouin was sent down to the AHL on Jan. 2. Before the move, he had played in only one game since Dec. 10.

A lower-body injury kept him out of eight games, but even before then, his second NHL season was plagued with inconsistent ice time.

Overall, Drouin has scored just eight points (two goals, six assists) all season. After an up-and-down rookie campaign, it's clear there is something amiss with Drouin and the Lightning game plan. His playing time hasn't seen a significant increase over the last year, and his production is actually down on a per-minute basis.

McKenzie noted that tensions had been brewing:

Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie

It's no secret it's been rocky road between Drouin/TB for quite some time, but Walsh's public statement on trade request will magnify it.

With Steven Stamkos also the subject of constant trade rumors before the deadline and set to hit free agency after the season, the Lightning could wind up losing two young players they once viewed as foundational pieces. 

Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.


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