As the trade deadline approaches, a name that was hot in trade rumors for a long time is coming to the surface again. Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith on Wednesday that he would be interested in moving forward Jonathan Drouin by Monday’s trade deadline.
“I definitely prefer to deal him sooner than later, it would be better for everyone,” Yzerman told Smith. “Can I do something involving Jonathan that benefits the team that makes us better right now that helps us for the playoffs? I’d certainly like to do that”
The former 3rd overall draft pick has been suspended by the team for refusing to play for the Syracuse Crunch. That was a direct result of Drouin and his agent Allan Walsh publicly declaring their desire for a trade out of Tampa earlier in the season. The trade was requested prior to their announcement, but the duo made their desire public on Jan. 3 after no progress toward a trade had been made.
Drouin currently remains at home in Montreal awaiting some sort of resolution the stalemate that may be impacting him more than the team.
One stumbling block is that the Lightning can’t just free-wheel Drouin into a trade. They have only $1.52 million in cap space remaining according to General Fanager. That means the team may need to have a little cap space go out in the deal, based on Yzerman’s desire to get a player in return that can help Tampa to make a run this season.
Featured photo by Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers.