What Are the Odds? Drouin Returns to Crunch amid Continued Rumors of Trade

In any pro sports league there are bound to be rumors of player dissatisfaction and coaches that aren’t giving players a fair shot. Such is the case with Jonathan Drouin who has recently been called off a suspension that was imposed for refusing to play again at the AHL level. In a bold move by Drouin and his agent, Allan Walsh, Drouin opted not to show for a January game between the Syracuse Crunch and the Toronto Marlies. Having been suspended without pay for what was to be an ‘indefinite length of time,’ young Drouin has returned to the game and now it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.

The Saga Begins
As the 3rd overall pick in the June 30, 2013 NHL entry level draft, Jonathan Drouin had a bright future ahead of him with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Canadian left winger had just won the coveted CHL Player of the Year for the 2012 – 2013 season having played for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) the Halifax Mooseheads. He also took home the Memorial Cup and his career seemed to be solidified when he, at just 18 years of age, was selected in Round 1, Third Pick (third overall) by the Lightning. Drouin was then sent to the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL club owned by the Lightning where he literally shone on the ice.

The Saga Continues
Amid numerous injuries on the Lightning, Drouin was called up to the Majors where he played just 19 games for the Lightning before injured players began returning to the ice. It was at this point that a rift between Lightning’s General Manager Steve Yzerman and young Drouin began. Drouin wanted to be traded and Yzerman didn’t want to release the player so, being sent back down was not an option in Drouin’s book. He simply didn’t show for his first game back down in the Minors and the rest, as they say, is continuing to make history.

Drouin Returns to the Ice
It has been reported that Drouin requested to come back to the Crunch in late February and will reportedly play for Syracuse on March 7. Even though the talented young player will be back on the ice with his former and once again teammates, it is anyone’s guess what will happen next. According to Zach Mcphail, CEO of realbookies.com, “This is one I would like to take bets on but what are the odds? Here you have a dispute between a highly talented young player who has potential to go down in history as an all-time great and one of the league’s highly prized General Managers. Will Drouin get his way and get traded or will Yzerman hold out for the right bargain against upcoming drafts? For now, the kid is playing but where he will be next week or the week after is anyone’s guess and I don’t think that even I would like to wager on this one.”

For now, Drouin is playing again with the Syracuse Crunch but it is still not too late to be traded, even though the deadline has passed. Will Yzerman get the deal he wants before releasing Drouin or will Drouin still be fighting for fair time on the ice until he can get traded? No one knows, but for now, fans are elated that this talented and extremely good looking 20 year old left winger has returned to the game.

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