Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

AHL Syracuse coach surprised by Drouin's refusal to play

TORONTO — AHL Syracuse coach Rob Zettler was caught offguard when Jonathan Drouin informed him he would not attend the Lightning affiliate's game against the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday night.

Drouin made Zettler aware of his intentions after the Crunch's morning skate at Ricoh Coliseum and was not on the bus to the rink for the game.

"He seemed to be enjoying himself and engaged with everybody," said Zettler, who maintained he had no issues with Drouin, sent to Syracuse by the Lightning on Jan. 2 to get playing time after injuries. "He made a decision not to play, so we'll move forward and let the powers that be in Tampa handle it from here."

The forward was announced as a healthy scratch before the Crunch's 5-4 overtime loss to the Marlies.

The Lightning suspended indefinitely without pay for refusing to play in the game. It declined to comment beyond a statement announcing the suspension.

Wednesday's twist was the latest in an ongoing saga between Drouin and the Lightning.

This month Drouin's agent made public that he had requested a trade for the forward in November.

After the Lightning announced the suspension, agent Allan Walsh said in a statement the Lightning told him a few days ago that a trade "was moving closer to completion." Walsh and Drouin proposed that the wing not play in the next few AHL games but continue to practice to avoid any injury that might prevent a trade, the agent said.

"Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning refused this reasonable request," Walsh said. "However, Jonathan was not willing to accept this risk."

In seven games since joining the Crunch, Drouin has two goals and an assist, and is minus-1.

Several NHL clubs had scouts in attendance at Ricoh Coliseum for Wednesday night's game, including the Canucks, Senators, Jets and Canadiens.

"(Drouin) was working hard, he was doing a lot of good things," Zettler said. "Played seven games. I expected him to play."

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

AHL Syracuse coach surprised by Drouin's refusal to play 01/21/16 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2016 12:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs-Vikings: What if O.J. Howard and Dalvin Cook had both been taken?

    Bucs

    So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?

  2. Wish the Bucs had taken Dalvin Cook? Read this

    Bucs

    It will happen sometime Sunday afternoon.

  3. Bucs-Vikings: What could make Tampa Bay's defense elite again

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The last time the Bucs had a top-five defense also happens to be when they last appeared in the postseason.

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) celebrates after recovering a fumble by Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon (8) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Steven Stamkos making exhibition debut for Lightning

    Blogs

    Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is curious how he'll feel - and play - in tonight's exhibition game against Nashville.

    Steven Stamkos takes a knee while huddling up with the team on the ice during training camp in Brandon last week.
  5. Quick snaps: Florida's streak, FSU's true freshman QB and UCF's prolific offense

    College

    Streaking

     Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain shakes hands with Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops at the end of the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7.