Drouin mum on trade request, relationship with Lightning
Wing Jonathan Drouin reported, as expected, to AHL Syracuse Tuesday morning for practice.
And, as expected, Drouin, 20, said very little on his November trade request, which became the talk of the hockey world after agent Allan Walsh made it public Sunday. It's another firestorm the Lightning has to deal with, already needing to sign captain Steven Stamkos to a long-term deal.
Drouin, in a press conference, tried to take the high road and not make any waves. It's clear what's best for both parties is him playing well in AHL, either increasing his trade value or forcing the Lightning's hand in calling him up.
"I'm not going to answer any questions about the trade request,'' Drouin said, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. "It's between my agent and Steve. The only thing I can do is play hockey here.''
How about Drouin's relationship with the Lightning, and coach Jon Cooper.
"I'm not answering any questions about that,'' he said.
Drouin was reassigned to Syracuse Saturday to get more playing time, having participated in just 19 games this season due to injuries, including five since mid-November. The Lightning had 14 healthy forwards, and Drouin wasn't waiver-eligible, making it easier to send him down. He will play top-line minutes for the Crunch.
"I'm happy to be here," Drouin said. "I'm part of the Syracuse Crunch right now. I'm trying to help them win,'' he said.
Drouin said he's communicated with some teammates about the request since the news broke, but wouldn't share their reaction.
Drouin is expected to play his first game for the Crunch Friday in Albany. Drouin was asked if he thinks he's played his final game with Lightning.
"It's hard to say," Drouin said. "It's up to me to prove that i can go back up there."