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Yzerman: 'Door is open' for Drouin to return, but it's 'up to him'

Rocky W. Widner/NHL / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Jonathan Drouin saga didn't end before the trade deadline, and Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman now says Drouin can return to the NHL club if he wants.

Related: Lightning hold on to Drouin at deadline

"Jonathan is suspended. If he wants to come back, the door is open," Yzerman told reporters after the 3 p.m. ET deadline passed Monday, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith. "That's up to him."

The Lightning had plenty of offers for the 20-year-old forward, but Yzerman said he was better off keeping his options open for the summer, and didn't want to lose him for a rental player.

"I wasn't going to trade (him) for (an unrestricted free agent) that I couldn't or wouldn't want to re-sign," Yzerman said. "That made no sense."

Drouin can still be traded now that the deadline has passed, but he'd be ineligible to participate in the playoffs.

He was suspended indefinitely by the Lightning in January for failing to report to a game for their AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

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