The NHL Trade deadline came and went and boy, oh, boy was it a stinker. There are many winners and losers, but the biggest loser of the day, may have been an individual. Jonathan Drouin who has been sitting out since his trade demand became public and he took the biggest hit out of anyone. The entire point of his holdout was for leverage purposes and now that he remains on the Lightning, he has no leverage whatsoever. What the hell should he do?
If Drouin doesn’t play another game this year, it isn’t going to help him out exactly. If anything it will help out the Lightning. Eric Macramalla of Forbes found this part of the CBA that is going to pin Drouin into a corner.
Here is the clause that Mcramalla found that is applicable to this situation.
“Article 10.1(a) of the CBA provides that in order to qualify as an unrestricted free agent, a player must have seven “accrued seasons”. An “accrued season” is defined as a minimum of 40 games on the active roster for a player. Drouin was on the active roster for 38 games (playing in 19 games), which means he’s two games short of an “accrued season”.”
That means if Drouin doesn’t play another game this year, he will not hit UFA for one more year. Not a situation that is ideal for Drouin or his agent Allan Walsh. This only increases the leverage for GM Yzerman who didn’t make the big splash many were expecting on deadline day.
Yzerman, who spoke to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times is bullish on the idea of Drouin possibly rejoining the team.
#tblightning Yzerman: "Jonathan is suspended. If he wants to come back, the door is open. That's up to him."
— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) February 29, 2016
“Yzerman’s offer, which puts the onus back on Drouin, is believed to only include AHL Syracuse and not a return to the Lightning. No matter: even if the offer was extended to join the Lightning before their playoff run, Drouin is not believed to be interested.”
The relationship between the two has many twists and turns. Neither side is particularly fond of one another and I don’t see a resolution coming soon. It is unfortunate though as Drouin needs to get some ice time to make sure that his development doesn’t remain stagnant.
Let’s hope that they reach some sort of agreement, so they can both move on because this situation is U-G-L-Y.