NHL Rumors: Jonathan Drouin May Be Moved On Sunday

Late Saturday night, Brian Lawton of NHL Network noted that Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman may part with Jonathan Drouin as early as Sunday, a day in front of the NHL Trade Deadline.

I am hearing that @TBLightning have 5 offers that they are mulling over and intend to make a decision tomorrow on Jonathan Drouin. #lottery

— Brian Lawton (@brianlawton9) February 28, 2016

As we reported on Thursday, there are a number of teams interested including the Blues, Jets, and Rangers according to Hockey Buzz.

Lawton also Tweeted that the Ottawa Senators are rumored to be in the mix.

The @Senators are believed to have made a dynamic offer for the services of Jonathan Drouin. We will hopefully find out tomorrow.

— Brian Lawton (@brianlawton9) February 28, 2016

Yzerman has said before that he would like to trade the disgruntled forward, but has been very patient in the process. Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday, Yzerman said,

“I definitely prefer to deal him sooner than later. It would be better for everyone. A lot of things factor into it when making the trade, a lot of things to consider here. But No. 1 is, ‘Can I do something involving Jonathan that benefits the team that makes us better right now that helps us for the playoffs?’ I’d certainly like to do that.”

It’s believed that Yzerman wants a big defensive body, or play making defenseman to help with a powerplay that’s not been able to find its’ stride this season. A right-handed top-4 defenseman with offensive upside would be the perfect fit, particularly if they could move Matt Carle and the majority of his salary as part of the deal.

Complicating things is that most of the reported teams in the hunt for Drouin seem to be playoff-bound, or worse, playoff-bound and in the Atlantic Division (Boston and Ottawa). So it remains to be seen if Yzerman trades for need or waits to until the off season where he’d likely get more value for the young talented pivot.

Drouin appeared in 70 games as a rookie last season and was generally impressive, scoring 4 goals to go with 28 assists, however he only dressed for 6 games during Tampa Bay’s Stanley Cup Final run. This year Drouin has struggled at times, putting up just 2 goals and 6 assists in 19 games with the Bolts.

Drouin still has a year left on his contract, and carries an annual cap hit of $894,166.