One day after being sent to the American Hockey League, Jonathan Drouin‘s agent has admitted the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning forward asked for a trade in November, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
“It’s in everyone’s best interests that Jonathan be allowed to move on and play hockey,” Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh said in a statement. “Let’s be clear, Jonathan loves playing for the fans in Tampa, he loves his teammates and many people within the Lightning organization have treated him well. It was his sincere intention to play in Tampa for many years.”
Later Sunday, the team issued a statement from vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman regarding the matter:
“We acknowledge, via communication from his agent, Jonathan Drouin’s request to be traded. Moving forward, my sole intention is to act in the best interest of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club. In the meantime, Jonathan has been assigned to our American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, and we expect him to report for practice with the rest of his teammates this Tuesday morning.”
Drouin was assigned to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday after recording just two goals and eight points in 19 games this season with the Lightning.
The 20-year-old was selected third overall by the Lightning in the 2013 NHL Draft and has totalled six goals and 40 points in 89 games for Tampa over the last two seasons.