Drouin reports to AHL, says everything will be ‘fixed in the summer’

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If there was one takeaway from Jonathan Drouin‘s press conference today, it’s that everything will be fixed in the summer.

Consider the 20-year-old’s reply when he asked if his relationship with the Tampa Bay Lightning was salvageable.

“I think our relationship’s fine,” Drouin said, per TSN’s Mark Masters. “We’ve talked, made this decision to come back here and, like I said, we’re going to fix this in the summer and see how it goes from there.”

He was also asked if he regretted how his request to be traded — and subsequent failure to report in the AHL — played out, considering he wasn’t dealt at the deadline.

“It’s hard to say,” he said, per Masters. “Obviously, I wish it went another way, but it happened that way and, like I said, it will be fixed in the summer.”

The consensus remains that Drouin will be traded sometime during the offseason. His return to the Syracuse Crunch — announced yesterday — is advantageous for both the player, who needs to play (and with the deadline past, is out of leverage anyway), and the club, which at the very least needs to showcase him for potential suitors.

That’s not to say Drouin will never suit up for the Lightning again. Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman hasn’t closed that door quite yet:

But first things first, Drouin knows he has work to do in the AHL:

Drouin, who admitted he “feels a little rusty,” is expected to make his return to the Crunch lineup Friday versus Bridgeport.