(Source: Sportsnet.ca) – “Even if he’s (Drouin) not the most popular player in the league, there’s at least seven to 12 teams that want him,” TVA insider Renaud Lavoie told Jeff Blair on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Thursday morning. “People are saying, teams are not going to want him because he’s a holdout and that’s a big red flag. Well, that’s not the reality. The reality is there’s a lot of teams interested in having him.”
There are very few true leaders in NHL front offices that have the resume Steve Yzerman has. Granted most of it was compiled with his on-ice achievements more so than his executive ones, but he’s gaining a lot of ground in a suit. This man has won it all and knows what it takes to get it done. And he will not bat an eye at what little Jonny Drouin thinks.
Drouin will lose little, if any, value in the trade market from essentially quitting on the Tampa Bay organization he has a contract to work for through the 2016-2017 season. Why? Because winning is all that matters in the NHL to the brass who pull triggers on deals involving former lottery picks, and some one will pay Yzerman adequately for him. There’s no doubt about that. Tyler Seguin’s wild life in Boston didn’t scare suitors, and neither would have Patrick Kane’s had he been available early in his career before his collection of Cups. No one has looked more like a clown in the press and social media than Evander Kane and Buffalo was more than happy to cut checks for him as well. Steve Yzerman will get the deal he likes and with Drouin still on his rookie entry level contract Stevie Y can take all the time he wants. He has all the power.
Tampa Bay is now 7-1 since they sent Drouin to the AHL. Last night they beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks who were on the hottest winning streak in the league at the time. They don’t miss Jonathan Drouin in Tampa. Before he quit on his Syracuse teammates Drouin had 2 goals and an assist in 7 AHL games. Yet his 2 goals came in the first period of the first game he played with them. Since then his game has been disappointing. Much like his personality.
So hang tight, little Jonny. Yzerman will find you a home soon enough. But he’s not losing sleep over it. And if you don’t grow up when you get to your new NHL city it’ll be interesting to see just how many millions of dollars the decision to quit on Tampa Bay may have cost you.