Yzerman denies telling Drouin's agent that trade was close

Scott Audette / National Hockey League / Getty

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman says Jonathan Drouin's agent isn't telling the truth.

The GM denied Thursday a claim made by Allan Walsh one day earlier, suggesting he and Drouin were told a trade was imminent, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

Related: Lightning suspend Drouin for failing to report to AHL game

Walsh issued a statement Wednesday, minutes after Drouin was suspended indefinitely, claiming, "A few days ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning advised that a trade involving Jonathan was moving closer to completion."

Yzerman responded Thursday, according to Lightning reporter Michelle Gingras, saying: "It's obviously not the position we envisioned, but for various reasons, here we are and we'll deal with it."

The GM insisted nothing has changed and said he still plans to do what's best for the Lightning, adding he won't be coerced into making a deal.

Yzerman said the timeline for Drouin's NHL return changed when Walsh went public with his client's trade request.

The agent claimed Wednesday that he and Drouin proposed the winger abstain from playing further AHL games and restrict his ice time to practices in order to prevent an injury that would squash a deal, but the Lightning rejected the request.

"There is no reason for Jonathan to continue with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in any capacity," Walsh wrote Wednesday, adding that no further comment would come from Drouin's camp as they await a trade.

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Yzerman denies telling Drouin's agent that trade was close
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