Disgruntled former Lightning top draft pick Jonathan Drouin voluntarily skipped out on a game Wednesday with the team's AHL affiliate and has resolved to end his association with the Lightning "in any capacity", upping the ante in his demands to be traded.
The team also announced that Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wasn't going to comment on the situation.
As many of you know the 23 year old 3rd overall pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning has requested a trade.
Drouin was assigned to the AHL's Syracuse Crunch in early January after missing extended time due to a lower-body injury.
In seven games since joining the Crunch, Drouin has two goals and an assist to go along with a minus-1 rating. Scouts have since flocked to Syracuse's games to watch Drouin in action. "We proposed to Tampa that Jonathan not play in the next few AHL games but continue practicing with the club ..."
In 19 games for the Lightning this season, Drouin has two goals and six assists. Jonathan has now played seven games with Syracuse in the past (14) days.
"Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning refused this reasonable request", Walsh said. "We will have no further comment as we await the Tampa Bay Lightning to conclude a trade that involves Jonathan".
Jonathan Drouin has dramatically increased the stakes to speed up a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning. "I asked him what he did yesterday, he said, 'I was just hanging out with the boys.' He's engaged, he seems to be having some fun with his teammates, and we're winning some hockey games, so I think he's having some fun".
However, a source with knowledge of the trade talks indicated Yzerman was bidding up suitors with offers from other clubs, muddying both the timeline of the deal and the sense for some teams as to whether they were really in the running.
The Lightning suspended indefinitely without pay for refusing to play in the game.
Simply requesting a trade might scare some teams away from him, even teams that could benefit from his scoring potential.