Tampa newspaper tears into ‘crybaby, quitter, disaster’ Drouin


So, we now know what the local media thinks of Jonathan Drouin.

On Friday, Tampa Tribune columnist Martin Fennelly penned a piece titled “How we’ll remember Jonathan Drouin — Crybaby, quitter, disaster.”

In it, he writes:

Here at the corner of Jungle and Madness, The Drouin Disaster nears conclusion. Any moment now, we expect a trade that will allow the indefinitely suspended Jonathan Drouin, former prized Lightning draft pick, to pack his skates, sticks and teething ring and go elsewhere.

Or maybe it won’t be any moment now. Drouin’s latest hijinks — making himself a healthy scratch for Wednesday’s game for the Syracuse Crunch — should give suitors pause. He’s the kid who quit.

Fennelly goes on to call Drouin “a spoiled brat, a crybaby,” who is “dragging his sippy cup across the crib bars.”

OK then!

There’s also a very subtle line in here that’s worth discussing:

Hey, I’ve got a great idea! If the Lightning want to move Drouin, bring him back up and make him team captain. Those guys are leaving here all the time …

This, of course, is in reference to Vincent Lecavalier, the ex-captain that was bought out of his monster contract in 2013. It is also, of course, in reference to Martin St. Louis — the ex-captain who demanded a trade in 2014 — and it’s also, of course, in reference to Steve Stamkos, the current captain and pending UFA that could be headed to free agency on July 1.

So what gives, Tampa Bay?

Recently, the Trib’s Erik Erlendsson appeared on TSN 1040 and discussed the larger-scale issue at play.

“If [Stamkos] goes, I think people are going to start to question why they let him go,” Erlendsson explained. “Is it simply just a business discussion? Because there’s so many factors that come into this. Steven Stamkos means just so much to them, and it’s not just the play on the ice.

“If we get to that far, yeah, there’s going to be some explanation that’s going to have to go on, and we’ll see how they have to sell it, if it comes to that.”

Related: Yzerman: Lightning are ‘actively and aggressively’ trying to trade Drouin

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

Rasmus Sandin
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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.