Drouin suspended by Lightning for failing to report to minor-league game

The Jonathan Drouin saga took another twist on Wednesday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect refused to report to an American Hockey League game between the Syracuse Crunch and Toronto Marlies. The team announced the 20-year-old as a scratch at Ricoh Coliseum prior to puck drop, adding in a statement that he has been "suspended indefinitely without pay by the team after his failure to report for tonight's game."

TORONTO — The Jonathan Drouin saga took another twist on Wednesday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect refused to report to an American Hockey League game between the Syracuse Crunch and Toronto Marlies.

The team announced the 20-year-old as a scratch at Ricoh Coliseum prior to puck drop, adding in a statement that he has been “suspended indefinitely without pay by the team after his failure to report for tonight’s game.”

Earlier this month it was made public that Drouin, through his agent, had requested a trade from the Lightning back in November.

According to Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh, when the forward was assigned to the AHL club on Jan. 2, it was explained that the assignment was for conditioning purposes and show other NHL clubs he had recovered from his injury.

“A few days ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning advised that a trade involving Jonathan was moving closer to completion,” Walsh said in a statement on Wednesday. “We proposed to Tampa that Jonathan not play in the next few AHL games but continue practising with the club to avoid any potential injury from preventing an imminent trade. Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning refused this reasonable request, however, Jonathan was not willing to accept this risk. We have been advised that the Tampa Bay Lightning has suspended Jonathan.

“In light of the latest developments it is clearly in both sides best interests that the Tampa Bay Lightning trade Jonathan as there is no reason for Jonathan to continue with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in any capacity.”

In seven games since joining the Crunch, Drouin has two goals and an assist to go along with a minus-1 rating.

“He’s been great. He’s worked hard in practice, worked hard in games — no issues at all,” said Syracuse head coach Rob Zettler following the team’s morning skate on Wednesday. “Its been fun having him here, guys have enjoyed his presence, enjoyed him in the locker-room.”

Drouin was a full participant in the team’s morning skate, which lasted roughly 30 minutes Wednesday morning and was seen joking around with teammates on the ice.

“I think the hardest part is, as a young player, you’re always at the mercy of where you get picked,” said Jeff Tambellini, a veteran of 242 NHL games and Syracuse’s leading scorer. “Different teams have different opportunities available and you never know what you’re going to come into.

“(Drouin) is a good player, everybody knows that. He just got picked by a team that’s ready to win a Stanley Cup. Sometimes the same opportunity in Phoenix is different than the one in Tampa — it’s always a difficult situation.”

Originally the third overall selection by the Lightning at the 2013 NHL draft, Drouin has six goals and 34 assists in 89 career games with Tampa Bay.

“I don’t know if (the trade request) surprises me, you’ve seen it before with players at different levels, but he’s trying to do what’s best for his career,” said Zettler.

Just Posted

Red Deer student excels: 11 year old hosts fundraiser to help kids

A Red Deer student is like most students, with a few exceptions:… Continue reading

Survey suggests many Red Deer-area employers ready to hire in early 2019

Red Deer-area employers expect a hopeful hiring climate in the first quarter… Continue reading

Experts offer tips about how to prevent online ad spoilers during the holidays

Looking to prevent your Christmas surprises from being spoiled by online ads… Continue reading

Fast-expanding seafood giant joins Irvings, McCains as N.B. business royalty

FREDERICTON — For the Irvings, it was Bouctouche. For the McCains, Florenceville.… Continue reading

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

CBC Gem streaming service to launch exclusive content, partners with Wattpad

TORONTO — The CBC has launched a new streaming service featuring live… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Most Read