The season-long saga between the Tampa Bay Lightning and one of their best prospects is either at an end or nearing one.
After a two-month holdout in hopes of a trade, Jonathan Drouin has decided to return to the Lightning organization and returned to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League on Monday. As a result, the Lightning have lifted their indefinite suspension of Drouin.
He is expected to practice with the Crunch on Tuesday. If Drouin didn't return to the Crunch on Monday then he would have been ineligible for the AHL's Calder Cup Playoffs.
This is just the latest step in a long season of drama between Drouin and the Lightning. The former third overall pick in 2013 requested a trade in late 2015 after receiving limited playing time with the Lightning from coach Jon Cooper. In response, the Lightning demoted him to the AHL, he stopped reporting and the team suspended him.
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman remained adamant throughout the saga that he was not required to trade Drouin if he didn't want to. Indeed, the trade deadline passed a week ago without the Lightning accepting trade offers for Drouin. It appears Yzerman won the battle for now, though a minor league trade involving Drouin is still on the table.