Jonathan Drouin will be away for the Canadiens for the foreseeable future as the team announced on Wednesday that he has taken an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons and has been placed on long-term injured reserve. This means that he must miss at least 10 games and 24 days. Drouin has been out with what was being called an illness since Friday which means the placement can be retroactively dated until then.
It has been a tough year on the ice for the 26-year-old as he has been held to just two goals in 44 games although he sits second on the team in assists with 21. Unfortunately, it appears he’s now dealing with something away from the rink as well.
From a salary cap perspective, Drouin’s placement gives Montreal enough wiggle room that they won’t have any cap issues moving forward although they still will have the recall situation to be concerned with. The Habs brought up Alexander Romanov from the taxi squad today (based on the morning skate lines), which would burn the fourth and final recall. However, with Drouin out, one of Cole Caufield or Jake Evans will be able to stay up until Drouin returns (if he’s able to).
When asked during his post-practice media session, head coach Dominique Ducharme declined to comment on whether the thought is that Drouin would be able to return this season. Instead, he revealed that this decision was discussed between the winger and the team and this was the course of action they decided on.
Montreal may also need to bring Michael Frolik up with Tomas Tatar and Paul Byron both questionable for tonight’s game against Toronto. They will have the cap space to do so with this news and it would be classified as an emergency recall.