In case you missed the news earlier this week Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin was placed on waivers for the purposes of contract termination by the team.
Check it out:
BREAKING: Jake Dotchin has been placed on unconditional waivers with purpose of terminating contract for a “material beach.” No further comment from TBLightning
Few details emerged in the wake of Dotchin’s contract termination, but rumors around the hockey world seemed to imply that Dotchin showed up to training camp in absolutely horrendous shape.
Almost immediately after the news broke Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Lightning was so upset with Dotchin’s lack of conditioning that they essentially kicked him to the curb.
As Friedman says, there’s likely more to this story that will come out in the days to come… and that day has now come.
On the latest episode of the 31 Thoughts podcast, Friedman reports that Dotchin showed up to camp 45 pounds overweight!
Check out some of the quotes from Friedman from the podcast with Sportsnet colleague Jeff Marek:
“From what I heard it was extreme. It wasn’t that he was just out of shape, but he was extremely out of shape.”
“When I got a report that he was on waivers I got a text from two different teams asking me, ‘What is going on here? We’d be interested in this guy. What’s happening?”
“As the day went on, things started trickling in and one team told me that they heard he was at 25% body fat. Another team told me he was 45 pounds overweight.”
“So, what that says to me is even if it’s not true, it’s in that direction. It was an egregious thing.”
The 24 year old blue liner had something of a breakout season for the Lightning last season, putting up three goals and 11 points in 48 games. Prior to that, the native of Cambridge, Ontario put up 11 assists in 35 games during his rookie season in 2016-17. The former 6th round pick (161st overall) of the Lightning in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft was in line to become a regular on the Lightning’s defense corps this season, but it looks like that’s all ancient history now. Again… it sounds like Dotchin made a huge mistake.
Dotchin looked to be on the path to becoming an NHL regular, despite having legitimate stars in front of him like Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman, Ryan McDonagh and Mikhail Sergachev. With veterans Braydon Coburn and Dan Girardi waning in their effectiveness, it looked like the door was wide open for Dotchin to come in and nail down a full time spot. Again, that’s all ancient history now. Think anyone will take a shot on the kid?