4 things we learned in the NHL: Trouble’s a Drouin

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Drouin’s time with the Lightning organization appears to be over, O’Reilly returned to Colorado, Stoll scored his first with the Wild, and more in four things we learned in the NHL.

Trouble a brewin’ for Lightning, Drouin

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and his agent Allan Walsh have elected for the nuclear option.

The Lightning suspended Drouin indefinitely after he failed to show up for the Syracuse Crunch’s game versus the Toronto Marlies Wednesday night.

Walsh went public with his client’s trade request earlier this month in an effort to speed up the process following Drouin’s demotion to Syracuse of the American Hockey League.

On Wednesday, camp Drouin declared itself finished with the Lightning organization saying “there is no reason for Jonathan to continue with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in any capacity,” in a statement from Walsh.

It’s a unique situation that offers several possible outcomes. Could this latest twist speed up the process of moving Drouin? Or, as Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston pondered in his column Wednesday, could the Lightning seek to have Drouin’s contract tolled while he’s suspended?

The only certainty here is a spike in Lightning GM Steve Yzerman’s blood pressure.

“We’ve never seen a player with so little leverage step out on a limb like this before,” Johnston wrote Wednesday. It’s a gamble by Drouin, who risks lost time and a damaged reputation. As for the Lightning, it only serves to compound what’s becoming an increasingly precarious situation in Tampa.

Steven Stamkos remains without a contract extension with unrestricted free agency looming. Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Alex Killorn are all in line for new contracts this summer. Ben Bishop and Victor Hedman will enter the final year of their respective contracts next season.

Yzerman and Co. are staring at what could be a transformative off-season for the Lightning organization.

Can the Red Wings defend? Jaskin for a friend

The St. Louis Blues held off a late surge from the Detroit Red Wings to pick up their fifth win in their last six games.

Dmitrij Jaskin‘s third goal of the season was the difference.

Let’s break it down. That’s Jaskin taking the puck down the middle of the ice with 1,2,3…all the Red Wings surrounding him.

Beauchemin steps up in O’Reilly’s return to Colorado

Ryan O’Reilly faced the Colorado Avalanche for the first time since the club traded him to the Buffalo Sabres at the 2015 NHL Draft.

O’Reilly found the scoresheet in the second period when he picked up a secondary assist on Evander Kane’s power-play goal.

One of the players the Avalanche devoted some free agency dollars to following O’Reilly’s departure, Francois Beauchemin, would play the hero when he potted what would be the game-winning goal late in the third period.

Stoll’s on the board with Wild

It took 17 games but Jarret Stoll‘s second goal of the season was his first as a member of the Minnesota Wild.

Assists go to Erik Haula and a botched Ducks’ zone exit.

The Ducks picked up a win by a final score of 3-1.

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