Lightning seek equal value in potential Drouin trade

Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman discuss all the new and rumors from around the NHL, including who the Tampa Lightning would want in return for Jonathan Drouin.

All signs point to Jonathan Drouin‘s time with the Tampa Bay Lightning coming to an end in the not-so-distant future.

In this week’s edition of “Headlines” on Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman noted that the Lightning would like a young player with similar value in return for the 2013 fourth overall pick.

Friedman mentioned St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri as the type of player Yzerman could eye in his effort to bring back an asset of equivalent value to Drouin. Blues defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk was rumoured to be in play, but his $4.25-million cap hit could be problematic for the Lightning.

The Blues selected Fabbri 21st overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 19-year-old has 10 goals and 14 points in 38 games with the Blues this season. Fabbri and Drouin carry identical $894,166 cap hits under the terms of their entry-level contracts.

Don't expect Yzerman to make a deal simply to appease Drouin. With the Lightning currently $2 million and change away from the salary cap ceiling, it's unlikely they will take on much salary without moving some out. A youth for youth deal would make the most sense from a cap perspective.

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman spoke to George Stroumboulopoulos Saturday and acknowledged that he will explore a trade, but only if it makes sense for his hockey club.

"I am prepared to trade him," Yzerman said. "Any deal that I make has to be what I consider a good deal for the Tampa Bay Lightning."

Drouin's agent Allan Walsh went public with a trade request for Drouin last week. In a statement, Walsh said he approached the Lightning with a trade request in November.

Drouin reported to Syracuse of the American Hockey League earlier this week. The talented 20-year-old scored two goals in his first game.

Drouin has two goals and eight points in 19 games with the Lightning this season.