Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Reactions: Jonathan Drouin Suspended by Lightning - Trade Imminent - Agent Walsh Releases Statement

Credit: Robert Mayer - USA Today Sports
On Wednesday night, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman suspended highly-touted prospect Jonathan Drouin without pay for failing to report to the club's AHL affiliate in Syracuse. Drouin, the 3rd-overall pick in 2013, had been sent to the AHL following the release of information regarding the player's much-publicized and controversial trade request.
Why wouldn't Drouin want to play for Syracuse? Simple - he and his agent weren't pleased with how the Lightning's brass, including Yzerman, was treating him. His agent, Allan Walsh, confirmed this in a statement released Wednesday night:


- Jonathan Drouin will, evidently, never play another game in the Lightning's organization, which isn't surprising, given how this situation has transpired.

- You've got to wonder how this will impact Drouin's trade value - before this fiasco, he was widely regarded as a future stud stuck behind a deep lineup; now, he's seen as a player not committed to his team. The Lightning will be lucky to get any sort of first-round pick in return for him, now.

- Bob McKenzie said two weeks ago that he expected 13 or more teams to be in contention for Drouin's services, including Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Columbus, Montreal, Nashville, both New York teams, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. I wonder how much that list has shrunk by now.

- Drouin to Calgary seems to be somewhat of a fit, with many of the team's wingers - including Jiri Hudler, Lance Bouma, and David Jones - slumping or injured. Perhaps they'd be able to give up one (or both) of Morgan Klimchuk and Emile Poirier, their two top wing prospects, for Drouin.

- Another team that looks to be a good fit is the Ducks, who are shockingly four points out of a playoff spot at the moment.

- I just can't see the Bolts dealing Drouin to a team in the East.

- Who is to blame for this fiasco? The initial culprit would, at first glance, be Drouin, but Allan Walsh is also taking lots of heat on Twitter. The general consensus regarding the pair's actions is "what were they thinking!?"

- Speaking of Twitter: at this writing, 'Drouin', 'Syracuse', and 'Allan Walsh' were 3 of the top five trends on the social networking site.

- Finally, you have to wonder how Steve Yzerman approaches his players during negotiations. He's had trouble in the past with Martin St. Louis and (still with) Steven Stamkos, and now Drouin looks to be as good as gone.

Could this, at least partially, be on him?

Friday, January 15, 2016

All-Star John Scott, and How the NHL Always Wins

Credit: Matt Kartozian - USA Today Sports

So, the NHL, faced with the prospect of John Scott representing the Arizona Coyotes at the All-Star Game, did not know what to do.

They must be feeling a lot better now, as Scott has been traded to the Montreal Canadiens and assigned to the AHL, thereby making him ineligible to participate in the game.


- The NHL’s fans can’t have nice things, apparently, as it has been reported that both the League and the Coyotes asked Scott not to play in the game. That’s just low — and Scott rightfully refused both times.

- Who will be the Pacific Division’s captain at the ASG now? Johnny Gaudreau, or someone else? Gaudreau was the second-highest vote-getter among Pacific Division players in the fan vote.

- It’ll be interesting to see the new fan voting debut next year, and what it constitutes. The NHL won’t want this to happen again.

- Max Domi will likely replace Scott as the Coyotes’ representative at the ASG.

- Of note: Scott’s current salary is $575,000. The bonus he would have received for winning at the All-Star Game: $95,000. That’s to him what it wouldn’t be for many others: real money.

- How much do you think the NHL pressured the Coyotes to trade Scott outside of the division?

- I wasn’t the biggest fan of Scott playing at the All-Star Game (not because I don’t like him — he seems like a genuinely good guy - but because it seemed like many fans were laughing at him instead of with him), but how the NHL has handled this event makes me want to see him play even more.

- I haven’t watched an All-Star Game in nine years. That would have changed this year. Not anymore.

- Finally, I wonder how John Scott feels about this. It’s been reported that he was looking dejected as he left Gila River Arena this morning, and I feel for him — he’s been the subject of a lot of publicity over the last month, and now he has been forced to depart Arizona for snowy St. John’s, sans the All-Star Game. I’d retire if I was him - what does he have to gain by playing there?

I’m sorry, John Scott. You never asked for this, and now you’ve been traded from where it’s 18 degrees and sunny to where it’s -6 and snowy. Wish you all the best.