The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to trade forward Jonathan Drouin ahead of the trade deadline, and up to 12 teams around the league could be interested in a deal, according to David Strehle at The Fourth Period.
The Lightning have been interested in trading Drouin since the forward requested a trade earlier in the season, but general manager Steve Yzerman is looking for the "right deal" for the forward. Strehle writes that there are "12 teams" interested in Drouin with the deadline approaching, including the Philadelphia Flyers. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall is "pushing hard" for a deal but may not be "willing to meet" the high "return demanded" by Tampa Bay.
Yzerman spoke with The Tampa Bay Times recently, saying that the team is looking to trade Drouin and that he prefers "to deal him sooner than later, it would be better for everyone." Drouin has been out of action since failing to report to a game after being assigned to the AHL in January. Yzerman is hoping to make a deal that would bring some significant additions to the Tampa roster, but he has said multiple times that he will not simply deal Drouin just to do it.
"I'm not going to trade him just to trade him," Yzerman told Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com. He added that a move would be "common sense" if he can trade Drouin and "put a player on my team and make us better." The return price for Drouin is a high one, as the forward was previously the number three overall pick in the 2013 draft. Drouin requested a trade through his agent earlier in the season, and the news went public about the request in early January.
LeBrun noted that Yzerman could wait until the summer to make a trade with Drouin if he feels like he is not getting the return he wants for a deal. Bob McKenzie of TSN reported that there are "easily 10-plus teams" looking to deal for Drouin at the deadline. McKenzie mentioned that the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings are all interested in Drouin.
Drouin has played in 19 games this season for the Lightning, recording eight points with two goals and six assists. Over his career, Drouin has recorded just six goals in 89 games. The Lightning have been disappointed with how Drouin has panned out since being a top three pick, but the team will not just give him up without getting some strong compensation in return.
The trading deadline is Feb. 29 at 3 p.m. ET.