I'm not totally surprised by the firing of Louise Sorel. Even though I absolutely adore Vivian Alamain and Louise, they just didn't use her very well. Vivian became a joke instead of a real villain. She should have brought down Stefano with the fake Rafe thing instead of Nicole.
A few weeks ago on our blogtalkradio show, I did say that I thought that Drake would be back on the show because of his frequent DOOL book signing appearances. I do look forward to see Drake Hogestyn and Deidre Hall back on the show, but I truly hope that their crazy fans are on their meds this time around. I have never seen a nastier fan base in the six years I've been following Days of our Lives online. I am not talking about all J&M fans, just some of the loonier Deidre fans. I'm friends with many J&M fans, and the crazier fans even turned them off from their favorite couple.
I am assuming Bren Foster is out as Quinn too. No reason to keep him on. His Vivian connection was the only thing that made his character interesting.
You can read Louise Sorel's TV Guide interview about her firing and her leaking of the return of the DH's here.