Steve Yzerman wants to end the drawn-out Jonathan Drouin saga, and he wants to do it soon.
On Wednesday, the Bolts GM said he’d “definitely prefer” to trade Drouin “sooner than later,” to end a contentious situation that’s seen the former No. 3 overall pick out of action since late January, due to a team-imposed suspension.
“A lot of things factor into it when making the trade, a lot of things to consider here,” Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times. “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.”
It’s not entirely surprising to hear that Yzerman wants to be active at the deadline. For one, he’s already identified an area where the Lightning need improvement — on the power play.
Despite a wealth of offensive talent, the Bolts have struggled with the man advantage this year, and currently sit 26th in the league at 17.5 percent.
The Lightning have also been rumored to be in the market for a young, right-shot defenseman that’s got a preferable (read: club-controlled) contract. Yzerman is going to be walking a financial tight rope over the next few summers, and the Bolts could use another right-hander, given Anton Stralman and Andrej Sustr are the only two on defense.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning Yzerman’s history of making moves at the deadline. He pulled off the Martin St. Louis-for-Ryan Callahan deal two years ago, and brought aboard Braydon Coburn last spring.