We've mused about reconciliation between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jonathan Drouin at one point or another but this evening a piece form The Score that cites Steve Yzerman seems to suggest that won't be in the cards. No, how could it if General Manager Steve Yzerman wants to deal Drouin sooner rather than later (meaning before the deadline instead of putting it off to the NHL draft or all together)?
Yzerman was quoted in the Tampa Bay Times this afternoon stating intent:
"I definitely prefer to deal him sooner than later, it would be better for everyone. [....] A lot of things factor into it when making the trade, a lot of things to consider here. But number one is, 'Can I do something involving Jonathan that benefits the team that makes us better right now that helps us for the playoffs? I'd certainly like to do that."
The article goes on to talk about the power play being the focus where Yzerman seeks to improve Tampa Bay the most. A righty-shot, top-4 defenseman does the deed... But a deal like that also displaces a defenseman or generates another commodity to trade (I'll say it now, people: Lay off Carle, especially because salary cap issues for the Lightning and a trade partner are part of the conversation in the cited article). The question is who is an expendable commodity on the Bolts defense corps and what commodities are in play out in the NHL?
At the same time, Yzerman dialing back a defenseman being the target would suggest that the corps as it stands isn't upgradable - for money issues as well as for personnel. How else is the power play improved? A Selke-caliber forward or a scoring wing that replaces what the Lightning sought to grow Drouin into: an offensively potent and responsible wing?