When Jonathan Drouin wasn’t traded during last week’s trade deadline, it created an awkward situation for the suspended forward. Was he going to sit out the rest of the season and not play? Was he going to swallow his pride and return to the team he said he never intended on playing for again? Today we got an answer, as the Syracuse Crunch Tweeted Drouin’s suspension has been lifted and he’ll return to the team tomorrow.
— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) March 7, 2016
It’s good news to see Drouin getting back to playing hockey, as he’s far too talented of a player to miss time because he’s not happy with his role in the organization.
Drouin’s shown tantalizing skill at the NHL level, scoring 40 points in 89 career games. You can see why he was the third overall pick in 2013. It’s part of the reason why it was so frustrating to see him sit. Could he play a bigger role with Tampa Bay? Sure, but the Lightning are a playoff team with a loaded roster, so opportunities weren’t going to be given to him.
While you may think it’s awkward for the 21-year-old to return, general manager Steve Yzerman said after the trade deadline “If he wants to come back, the door is open,” so I imagine Drouin will be welcomed back – even if some in the organization hold resentment for how he behaved.
Either way, this is good news for both Tampa Bay and Drouin. The organization can rebuild his value and trade him/or mend the situation going into next season while Drouin doesn’t waste the rest of the season and can show the Lightning and other teams what he’s capable of.