“On behalf of Jonathan Drouin, I formally requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning back in November,” Walsh said. “We have not said one word about this untenable situation publicly until today. It’s in everyone's best interests that Jonathan be allowed to move on and play hockey.”
Drouin, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft, has averaged just over 14 minutes of ice time in 19 games this season for the Lightning, recording two goals and six assists.
On Saturday, the 20-year-old was assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said the move was “specifically so he (Drouin) gets playing time.”
Walsh went on to say that Drouin does not have any ill feelings towards the Tampa Bay fans and organization.
“Jonathan loves playing for the fans in Tampa, he loves his teammates and many people within the Lightning organization have treated him well,” he said.
The forward totaled four goals and 28 assists in 70 games for Tampa Bay last season.
- Beth Maiman