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The Curious Case Of Jonathan Drouin



Last night the Tampa Bay Lightning suspended Jonathan Drouin without pay for essentially going AWOL on the Syracuse Crunch. By now I’m sure that everyone who is reading this post is well aware that Jonathan Drouin has requested a trade out of Tampa a few weeks ago, but the story goes back further than that so let’s get in to this a little deeper.

The Tampa Bay Lightning went through a couple years of being complete dog shit. The level of dog shit that when you accidentally step in it, you immediately throw out that pair of shoes. So they drafted Steven Stamkos with the 1st overall pick in the 2008 draft. Then they got Victor Hedman 2nd overall in the 2009 draft. And they did exactly what every team that has won a cup in the past 7 years have done. They sucked on a giant bag of dicks for a little bit, then built a team to succeed from the draft. Pittsburgh did it, Chicago did it, Los Angeles did it. However, they were also able to end up taking Jonathan Drouin 3rd overall in the 2013 draft and obviously this is where all the drama starts.

The 20-year-old has 40 points in 89 NHL games and remains unproven at this point. However, that’s just because he hasn’t been given the opportunity to prove himself. Jonathan Drouin is in a spot that very few 3rd overall draft pick finds themselves  in this early in their career, and that’s being on a team who is in a “win now” mentality. The Lightning got too good too quickly to work with Drouin. The team isn’t waiting for him to develop as a talent because they’re not in rebuild mode anymore, they already did that with Stamkos and Hedman. Drouin obviously has the skill set to be a 3rd overall draft pick, but he needed to go to a team that would have the patience to allow him to play and go through some growing pains to become a stud in this league, and that’s not the case in Tampa Bay. Not necessarily because he doesn’t have the talent to crack the lineup, but because it’s just not a good fit with Jon Cooper’s system. As a kid with potential as high as the sky, though, you can see where the levels of frustration come in at this point and you can understand why he wants out of Tampa so badly. Which catches us up to present day. And here’s a hot girl wearing a Lightning shirt.


So Drouin wants out of Tampa and Tampa clearly has no intentions of trying to make things work with him. Not only that, but the team isn’t showing any signs of urgency to deal him away. Yzerman obvioulsy doesn’t want to give the kid up for peanuts if he can still get a good valuable return for a 3rd overall draft pick still in his ELC. So that’s where Jonathan Drouin starts to force his hand a little and try to get leverage over the Lightning. The longer this shit goes on, the more Drouin’s trade value plummets. And I think he realizes that. He’s essentially sabotaging himself to force Yzerman to trade him before he gets nothing in return. Seems a little primma donna-ish, seems a little punk-ish, but that’s his move and I can’t say I don’t respect the shit out of it. He’s basically a kamikaze at this point.

And now everyone is stuck in a weird position. In a perfect world, Yzerman recalls Drouin to the Lightning, he plays a few games in the NHL to get his trade value back up and then they pull the trigger on a deal at the deadline. But both sides seem to be a little too petty for that right now. Yzerman doesn’t want to get walked over by a 20-year-old kid and Drouin obviously has no interest in playing for the organization. So the best case scenario would be to just make a deal in the next 48 hours and call the Jonathan Drouin era in Tampa Bay a failure. Drouin gets what he wants and the Lightning don’t end up just letting him walk away for free. Everybody wins. Sort of.