Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin is in some hot water after demanding a trade and refusing to show up for an AHL game after he was sent down — but there is still demand on the market for him, and one of those teams could be the Washington Capitals.
The problem for Drouin, of course, is that the Lightning don’t appear to have any interest in acquiescing to his trade demands, sticking him in the minors and then suspending him when he didn’t show up for a game, according to a Stars and Sticks report.
Drouin, who is a former No. 3 overall draft pick, has lots of upside but has so far disappointed in his stint with the Lightning. Still, his caliber of talent is likely to attract some attention from teams looking for a forward with high upside as long as he comes at the right price.
In 89 games with the Lightning, Drouin has just 40 points, although he was often used in the bottom six as he never clicked with his coach. He was sent down to Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, which clearly did not make Drouin happy.
The Washington Capitals are the NHL’s No. 1 team in terms of standings points right now, but they might pick up the phone for the talented forward who is currently just 20 years old. If Tampa Bay decides it wants to get rid of Drouin and at least get something in return, the Capitals could get him at a bargain.
But there appears to be a strong possibility that’s going to happen — not this year, at least. Tampa GM Steve Yzerman doesn’t have any reason to flip him in a trade for too little because he isn’t even on an NHL roster, and the organization will likely be wary that teams will be looking to get him for cheap.
Fortunately, the Capitals have time to wait for Drouin to come on the market — so while it may not happen tomorrow, it could happen at some point.