Months ago, I wrote about Yzerman's conundrum in terms of the Drouin situation. I said his choice was to stick to principle or to cave into his demand, expressing doubt that he would stick to his principles.
But he did, and to my surprise, it all paid off.
Yzerman is not out of the water since he has a Stamkos issue to worry about, but now that the Drouin situation has been stablized, we can give Yzerman full credit for not letting a player agent tell him how to run his franchise.
This wasn't only a big win for Yzerman and the Lightning, it was a big win for general managers not letting a player('s agent) bend the formalities of these situations.
Demanding a trade is a delicate process. You can get something done in haste and hide behind the statement, "Well if they don't wanna play for me, I'm gonna let 'em go!" Or you can take a long hard look at the situation to see what you might lose and what you might gain from it.
Yzerman stood to lose that trade big time since he had no leverage. But then Drouin decides to become the Prodigal Son, then he's in the line-up for the Lightning in the playoffs, and he had a reasonably strong offensive performance. Now today the trade demand is pulled back because Drouin's spot in the Lightning roster come the fall is far more assured.
Hopefully other General Managers will follow in Yzerman's footsteps and keep control of the team and their market, because the CBA is never going to be air tight and it's up to the GMs to keep greedy player agents from wresting control of a team's decisions (salaries OR trade demands). And maybe this will be a small victory in a war that will ultimately be lost by weak-minded GMs, at least I can highlight this little victory.
Best part is: both sides win.
Well played, Yzerman. So what about Stamkos now?