The Jonathan Drouin Saga continues to position itself well for a daytime Emmy in 2016.
Previously: Drouin requested a trade. Then he was sent to the AHL. Then he made his trade request public. Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he’ll only do what’s best for the team and that there will be a premium for Eastern Conference teams to acquire Drouin. Drouin scored two goals in the first period of his first AHL game and then failed to score in the next two periods plus six games. Then he didn’t show up for a game, the team suspended him, his agent said they were close to a trade, Yzerman said nuh-uh, and that he won’t be forced into make a move, still. Then stalemate.
Now, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch is giving proof that Yzerman wants a pound of flesh from any Eastern team. He reports that the price for the Ottawa Senators may be 2015 1st round draft pick Thomas Chabot and another top prospect.
Last week there were reports that one request from Tampa involved Ottawa giving up defenseman Cody Ceci.
As Garrioch notes, the reality is that a request like that from Yzerman just drives home that he’s in no hurry to get a deal done. Waiting doesn’t effect the Lightning at all. It depreciates Drouin’s value, but it’s hard for it to go much lower at this point. Any team acquiring him knows that it’s a lottery ticket since he hasn’t proven himself at the pro level. He also comes with the possibility of being difficult, as evidenced by the second paragraph above.
The ask also reveals that Yzerman isn’t likely all that interested in putting Drouin in the East with the bad blood between him and the organization not likely to subside any time soon. If a team wanted Drouin bad enough to give up a package like Chabot and another top prospect, there’s no doubt Yzerman would make a move, but he’s asking for deals that he’s not likely to get from an Eastern Conference foe.
Chabot, the 18th overall pick for the Sens, has eight goals and 25 points in 26 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL. That’s the same league where Drouin scored 29 goals and 108 points in 48 games at the same age as Chabot.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.