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From The Ice

Report: Drouin Not Returning to Lightning

Despite intense speculation on trade deadline day, Jonathan Drouin remained a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday, though it appears to be in name only.

The forward was suspended without pay in January after failing to report for a game with the AHL Syracuse Crunch, following the very public revelation that he had requested a trade.

But reports suggest offers for the former 3rd overall pick were limited, with Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman suggesting there could still be a way back in to the organisation for Drouin, telling The Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith “Jonathan is suspended. If he wants to come back, the door is open,”

However this does not appear likely at this time, with TSN’s Frank Seravalli reporting that Yzerman’s offer of a return only extends to Syracuse, and not the Lightning; which does not interest Drouin.

Drouin has been skating with his former Midget team, Lac St. Louis Lions near Montreal, since his suspension began, with some suggesting his lack of competitive ice time was a barrier to for potential trade partners when it came to negotiating a deal.

The 20-year old still has one more year remaining on his entry level deal, meaning he will not become a restricted free agent until 2017.

Drouin can still be traded, but he would not be eligible for the playoffs now the deadline has passed and thus a move at the NHL Draft on June 24th and 25th now appears the next most likely scenario.

In 89 career NHL games with the Lightning, Drouin has scored 6 goals and 40 points. He also featured in six playoff games during Tampa Bay’s run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, but was held pointless and registered just six shots on goal.

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