This is probably how the player or the team wanted things to go down, especially with the new season just around the corner.
In a breaking news report, it has been announced that defenseman Jake Dotchin was placed on unconditional waivers by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday with the purpose of terminating his contract for a material breach.
The team had no further comment but is believed to be unhappy with Dotchin’s conditioning. Joe Smith of The Athletic reports that it “sounds like” the Lightning were unhappy about Dotchin’s conditioning upon reporting to training camp.
This is a picture from the Tampa Bay Times as Dotchin worked out on Thursday:
Dotchin, a former sixth-round draft pick, had a cap hit of $812,500, according to CapFriendly.com. Dotchin had one season left on his two-year deal, but will not get to fulfill it following this news.
The 24-year-old blue liner was once believed to have a bright future with the Bolts, however, he did not take part in any of Tampa Bay’s postseason contests this past spring. He became a healthy scratch from time to time during the regular season, in which he played in 48 games this past season, scoring three goals, eight assists and finishing with a plus-17.
He did managed to tally some minutes alongside star defenseman Victor Hedman on the ice, however he lost his place as he became a healthy scratch on the roster.
“Obviously the playing time is down a bit,” Dotchin said to the Tampa Bay Times back in February after he was scratched for the fifth time in six games. “I’ve just got to keep working hard, put my head down and do what I can do, do things in my control to get better and get back in the lineup.”
Head coach Jon Cooper had said that there had been inconsistencies to Dotchin’s game that needed to be rounded out, however, he will not get to prove he got the message for the 2018-19 season with Tampa Bay.
Dotchin did not score any goals in 2016-17, but he finished with a plus-10 and 11 assists in 35 games.
This is one of the first moves of new GM Julien BriseBois, who took over for Steve Yzerman earlier this week. Though BriseBois had been as assistant GM for several years in Tampa, this is a good sign that he is serious about the job and the team’s future.