Steve Yzerman was unable to made a trade at the deadline to bolster the Lighting roster for the playoffs.
But now, it sounds like the Bolts could end up getting a postseason boost anyway.
After scoring three points in his first three AHL games since having his team-imposed suspension lifted, Jonathan Drouin is apparently in the mix for a recall to the Lightning, Yzerman confirmed on Tuesday.
“The plan was for him to go down and play and come back,” the Tampa Bay GM said, per NHL.com. “So with the situation right now, if it is good for our team and it is the right thing to do, he will be recalled.
“So, it’s very realistic.”
It’s quite remarkable Drouin and the Bolts find themselves in this situation — especially given where things were a month ago.
Drouin requested a trade out of Tampa Bay, then refused to report for a Crunch game in late January. That led to his suspension from the club, a situation many thought would be resolved by the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
But when Yzerman didn’t move the former No. 3 overall pick, things started to change.
Shortly thereafter, the Bolts lifted Drouin’s suspension, and the 20-year-old reported to Syracuse. At the time, Yzerman didn’t rule out Drouin’s return to Tampa Bay, though a report from TSN suggested the ship had sailed on Drouin going back to the NHL club.
But now, it sounds like the ship is back in the port. So to speak.
Should Drouin join the Bolts, it would present an intriguing option heading into the playoffs.
He had a modest eight points in 19 games with Tampa Bay prior to his demotion, but has shown flashes of the skill and offensive prowess that saw him post back-to-back 100-point campaigns in his final two years of junior hockey.
He could also boost Tampa Bay’s ailing power play, which heads into Tuesday night’s action sitting 26th overall in the league.