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Lightning recall Jonathan Drouin
- Updated: April 7, 2016
The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Jonathan Drouin from their AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. The call up comes as a surprise to many after everything that has happened between the former first round pick and the organization.
The Lightning’s first round pick in 2013, Drouin’s first NHL season didn’t go as many hoped it would, as the young forward only scored 4 goals in 70 games, as well as having no points in 6 playoff games. Expected to get a larger role in his sophomore campaign, Drouin struggled to stay healthy earlier in the season. When healthy, he found it hard to find consistent minutes in the Tampa Bay lineup.
The Lightning decided to send Drouin down to the AHL in January, hoping to find him minutes and help him regain confidence. Things did not go as planned after sending Drouin down to the Crunch, however, as the next day Drouin and his agent announced Drouin requested a trade back in November. To make the situation even worse, Drouin failed to report to one of the Crunch’s games, causing the team to suspend him without pay indefinitely.
After not being moved at the trade deadline, Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said Drouin could come back and play f he wanted to, and that the door was open for a return. The team lifted the suspension just days after the comments by Drouin, who reported to Syracuse in early March.
Now, he will get his shot to prove himself not just to the Lightning, but the entire NHL. With the injury to star forward Steven Stamkos, the Lightning have an opening for a skilled forward on the team, and Drouin fits that role. Time will tell whether this is the right move for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have lost 2 of their 3 games since Stamkos left the lineup. The Lightning are in the playoffs and have a chance to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the second straight season, and this time, they don’t want to go home empty handed.