Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin reported to Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. The only thing he needs to do now is try to play well enough to get himself back to the Lightning so he can try to earn his playing time in the NHL.
If Drouin focuses on anything else, particularly his ill-timed and ill-advised trade request, he'd be doing himself and his team a disservice.
Drouin's trade request, made public Sunday by his agent, Allan Walsh, is an unnecessary and impatient move from a player who still has a lot to prove in the NHL, a player who has scored six goals in 89 games and has 19 shots on goal in 19 games this season.
Judging by those numbers, the Lightning shouldn't have to justify sending a struggling 20-year-old player to the AHL to find his game. It should be as obvious as the fact that if the Lightning traded Drouin now, they wouldn't get near the return on their investment as they should.