Rumor Roundup: Yzerman will settle for nothing less than equal value for Drouin

Lyle Richardson
Jonathan Drouin. (Getty Images)

A week after his trade request, Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin remains the hot topic in the NHL rumor mill. Appearing on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he’s prepared to trade the 20-year-old winger, but only if it’s a deal that helps his club. Yzerman added it’s important to receive equal value, “and you can measure that in a lot of different ways.”

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes the Lightning want a player of comparable value. The St. Louis Blues, who were reported to be heavily scouted by the Bolts, are thought to be interested in Drouin. Friedman speculates the asking price could be promising rookie center Robby Fabbri.

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Getting to Know: Lightning center Jonathan Marchessault

Mark Malinowski
Jonathan Marchessault. (Getty Images)

Status: Tampa Bay Lightning center.

Ht: 5-9 Wt: 174 pounds

DOB: December 27, 1990 In: Cap-Rouge, Quebec

First Hockey Memory: “I think probably from pictures. But I remember my dad took me out to skate when I was four-years-old.”

Hockey Inspirations: “When I was young a small player like Marty St-Louis always inspired me. Also when I was young my idol was Joe Sakic.”

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “Patrick Roy. When I was young I was going up to hockey school and his son was there. And when he came into juniors he was obviously my coach and his son became one of my best friends. (Son’s name?) Frederic. And Jonathan as well is my good friend too.”

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The events that led to Jonathan Drouin’s trade request

Matt Larkin
Jonathan Drouin (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Jonathan Drouin, currently a member of the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, does not want to play for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning anymore. Agents don’t publish formal trade requests without their clients’ approval, so every word published in the release from Octagon’s Allan Walsh reflects a united front between him and Drouin.

The request is an intelligent strategic move by Drouin and Walsh. It casts more public scrutiny on Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, which could motivate him to rid himself of the situation sooner, i.e. mid-season, rather than later, i.e. the 2016 off-season. The request also acts as a honey pot to attract additional Drouin suitors, as there’s a big difference between “the media say Drouin might want out of Tampa” and “Drouin officially wants out of Tampa.”

I’ve already speculated on which destinations make most sense for Drouin, though Nashville and Columbus no longer apply. We can speculate further on whether Yzerman will “cave” or “hold his ground.” But perhaps the better question to ask right now is: what caused the rift between Drouin and the Lightning? Knowing the answer would offer a better clue as to whether the situation is reconcilable. With guidance from some sources close to the situation, THN offers a brief timeline of career roadblocks Drouin has experienced since the Bolts drafted him third overall in 2013.

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Kings betting on Lecavalier’s honesty and character and it’s a smart move

Vincent Lecavalier (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

If the Los Angeles Kings are betting on Vincent Lecavalier’s sense of integrity and his word, and they are, then they’re betting on the right guy. Lecavalier’s all-world talents have declined to be sure, but one thing that has not is his reputation of being a man of his word and an all-round stand-up person.

So when Lecavalier assured the Los Angeles Kings that he would retire after this season, thereby making it possible for the Kings to acquire him and defenseman Luke Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday, that was obviously good enough for the Kings. Because the fact is, Lecavalier could throw this entire thing off the rails by waking up tomorrow morning or any other between now and the end of this season and decide he actually wants to keep playing beyond this season and there’s not a thing the Kings or Flyers could do about it.

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Rumor Roundup: Lightning need to trade Drouin in next 10 days to get best return

Jonathan Drouin (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Recently-demoted Tampa Bay Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin declined to talk about his trade request when he spoke with the media on Tuesday. His silence on the matter, however, did nothing to quiet the speculation over his future with the Lightning.

Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman doesn’t doubt Drouin will attract considerable interest around the league, but believes GM Steve Yzerman won’t be pressured into making a hasty decision. If Yzerman is fielding trade offers, Friedman thinks the asking price could vary from team to team.

Should Drouin hit the trade block, Friedman speculates teams with young assets, like the Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets, Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils and perhaps the Ottawa Senators, could be possible suitors.

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Rumor Roundup: Jonathan Drouin could attract considerable interest

Lyle Richardson
Jonathan Drouin (Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

A quiet NHL rumor mill received a significant jolt on Sunday, as the agent for Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin revealed his client made a trade request in November.

Allan Walsh, who represents the 20-year-old Drouin, released a statement not only revealing the request, but also imploring Lightning management to deal the winger to another NHL club for the good of everyone involved. Walsh’s remarks came shortly after Drouin’s demotion on Saturday to the Syracuse Crunch.

Despite Drouin’s promising skills, he’s yet to establish himself at the NHL level. But his potential for stardom could still attract considerable interest around the league.

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These five teams should pursue a Jonathan Drouin trade

Matt Larkin
Jonathan Drouin (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The 2015-16 NHL season has taught us smoke rarely yields fire in the trade rumor mill, at least so far. Plenty of names have been tossed out as highly likely candidates to be dealt, from Ryan Johansen to Matt Duchene, and nothing has happened. Heck, Travis Hamonic requested a trade from the New York Islanders to help him with a personal family matter, and even he hasn’t changed addresses almost two months later. The Johnny Boychuk injury makes a deal next to impossible now, too.

So just because Jonathan Drouin, via agent Allan Walsh, formally requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning doesn’t guarantee Drouin will be moved. General manager Steve Yzerman has made it clear he’ll do what’s best for his team before he’ll do what’s best for Drouin, so it’s possible Tampa searches for a way to mend fences and retain the youngster. That said, Drouin should attract a ton of interest on the trade front. He’s only 20. He carries the type of raw talent expected of a player taken third overall in the 2013 draft. Whether his early-career struggles are the result of injury, poor play on his part or not getting a proper opportunity on a stacked team, he has plenty of time to make good on his potential. He has another year left on his deal at an $894,166 cap hit, albeit with performance bonuses worth up to $2.3 million.

Bottom line: Drouin is affordable for virtually any team at the moment, as he’s not a restricted free agent until summer 2017, and he’s young enough to appeal to rebuilding teams and buying teams alike. He carries risk in that he still has a high enough ceiling to command a significant return, but we can expect a ton of interest in him.

Who, then, is the ideal fit for a Drouin acquisition? Consider these five candidates.

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