The 2015-16 season has been a tough one for the Tampa Bay Lightning. After making it to the Stanley Cup Final last year, the team was looking to take the next step forward this season. Things haven’t shaken out that way in Florida though, and if the playoffs started today, the Lightning would miss the cut by two points.
Being in the hunt is fine, but this isn’t where Tampa was supposed to be.
Their play out on the ice has been concerning enough, but there are a handful of storylines that have been haunting the Lighting too. The Steven Stamkos saga (Episode 1) isn’t ending until he signs an extension or inks elsewhere in July, and now Jonathan Drouin has requested a trade through his agent, Allan Walsh.
Jonathan Drouin has requested a trade from the Lightning, through his agent Allan Walsh. Full statement from Walsh: pic.twitter.com/iQ8xycxveD
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) January 3, 2016
This came after the Lightning demoted Drouin to the AHL — a move that apparently put the nail in the coffin of this player/team relationship. There’s always a chance that general manager Steve Yzerman will be able to repair the damage, but those conversations will be happening behind closed doors.
At this juncture we know that Drouin wants out of Tampa, and that there are 29 other teams in the NHL that would love to add a talented forward of his caliber. Which destinations make the most sense though? That’s the question we are going to tackle here today. We’re going to look at which teams have both the assets and need for a forward like Drouin.
Unless otherwise noted, this is speculation on our part and not based on a specific rumor or piece of information.