A year and a half later, Jonathan Drouin got his wish, via the first blockbuster move of the NHL's offseason.
The Tampa Bay Lightning traded their young playmaker to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday along with a conditional sixth-round draft pick in return for prospect defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional second-rounder, the teams announced.
With the ink barely dry on their trade agreement, the Canadiens promptly signed Drouin, a restricted free agent to be, to a six-year contract extension worth $33million. Negotiations between Montreal GM Marc Bergevin and Allan Walsh, Drouin's agent, came together in less than two hours.
Drouin and the Lightning seemed to have reached an understanding this past season, as the 22-year-old wing scored 21 goals on the way to a 53-point campaign.
That showing came on the heels of a 2015-16 season that saw Drouin sit out for six weeks after the Lightning did not heed his request to be traded. He found his way back into the team's good graces and ended up scoring five goals in the 2016 playoffs before his breakout 2016-17.
Even so, the end of this Lightning season once again prompted speculation that Drouin could be on the move, as he was Tampa Bay's prime trading chip in their effort to shore up a woeful defense.
Sergachev, just 18, may not fill that need right away, but the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft has put up eye-opening numbers for the OHL's Windsor Spitfires the past two seasons - racking up 43 points (10 goals) and 71 penalty minutes in just 50 games this year.