The St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning have been closely connected in various trade rumors over the past couple years, but nothing significant has come to fruition. There were a ton of rumors involving Kevin Shattenkirk and Jonathan Drouin, but when the dust settled, Shattenkirk headed to the Washington Capitals and Drouin is still with the Lightning.
End of story, right? Maybe not.
The two teams are still keeping a close eye on one another despite the fact the trade deadline has passed. That’s not significant in itself as teams continue to scout players all year long, but the Blues recently had GM Doug Armstrong in Tampa Bay while the Lightning had assistant GM Pat Verbeek in attendance in St. Louis.
Jeremy Rutherford spoke about how the two teams continue to be in close communication.
“But after the deadline, it’s pretty interesting that these two teams continue to attend each other’s games. I still think the Blues have their eye on Drouin, but whether the Lightning are still making him available after freeing up some salary with the Bishop trade, who knows?”
That should get some fans talking.
Drouin is only under contract through the end of 2016-17 and is due a significant raise. The Lightning have plenty of questions to address over the summer and it’s possible they may not keep the talented forward as they look to patch other glaring holes such as the one that’s been mostly ignored for years on defense.
Could the Blues put a piece or two together to acquire Drouin and then give him a new extension this summer? It’s possible, but as with any trade, it all depends on what the Lightning want in return.