Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I would rather not discuss what brought me to that decision, but in the end this is a decision for my family. I respect the fact that many of you do not agree with my decision and are angry with it. All I really can say is that I am sorry and I am very appreciative of the support you have shown me through the years.
-Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers in a letter he wrote to Tampa Bay Lightning Fans. You can read the full letter at the Tampa Tribune or check out a tweet below which includes a picture of the letter.
added 12:23pm, Official Tampa Bay release below...
I would have liked to see a no-call, but you can decide.
Pick one, Alex Steen,Ben Bishop or no-call?
from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,
Seldom do trade requests go over well with fans, regardless of the player’s popularity. Retired stars like Eric Lindros and Patrick Roy were heavily criticized during their careers for the way they handled trade demands.
Lindros and Roy could at times be brash, but St. Louis is known as a stoic player who leads by example. If he remains steadfast in his request to be dealt to the Rangers, what message does that send to others around the league? Not a positive one.
Players like St. Louis and Kesler have no-trade clauses and control their own fate, but when athletes who are paid millions of dollars ask for trades while under contract, it can tarnish their image fast.
From the day he was passed over in the NHL draft to when he was snubbed for Team Canada, St. Louis has been an underdog we can cheer for. That will change if he is wearing a Rangers sweater come March 5.
from Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times,
My guess is Yzerman invites St. Louis into a room and the two sit across from each other and talk. Maybe they talk about the Stanley Cup. Maybe St. Louis talks about his 361 goals or his 948 points or his 968 games for the Lightning. Maybe he talks about winning the Hart Trophy or his two Art Rosses or his Ted Lindsay or his three Lady Byngs.
Maybe they talk about the blood he left on the ice along the way. Maybe Yzerman talks about spending so long in one uniform and what it meant to him to finish in it. Maybe St. Louis remembers the story of the Lightning is etched in those lines on his face.
This is what a legacy is. And this is why St. Louis cannot let it slip away so easily.
In the end, no one can be sure what kind of return St. Louis would bring. Even at 38, he still has some jump in his legs, and he could help a lot of contenders. But is the Lightning going to get back a player who would help the team down the stretch as much as St. Louis? That isn't likely.
Ah, but what if the Lightning keeps St. Louis. Would he be able to turn loose of this so he could focus on the task at hand?
I say yes. Again, we are talking about a prideful player here. I cannot imagine him taking a midnight skate in the middle of a game.
Marty St. Louis had a chance to put the trade rumors to rest earlier today but instead added more speculation to the mix.
I tweeted this earlier but in case you missed it...
Arthur Staple of Newsday included this in a blog post today...
I’ve now heard from three different NHL people that Martin St. Louis did indeed request a trade last month. He has a full no-move clause, so he could pick his destination. That would seem to be the Rangers. St. Louis has an offseason home in Greenwich, Conn.
Have to see how that plays out and whether St. Louis ultimately getting to go to Sochi and win a gold medal has changed his feelings. But if this all stemmed from Steve Yzerman passing St. Louis over for the initial Team Canada roster, that may trump John Tavares’ season-ending injury as exhibit A for owners and GMs never wanting the NHL in the Olympics again.
Last night Boomer Esiason put out a few tweets, teasing fans with a Ryan Callahan for Marty St. Louis trade. Today...
from CBS New York,
Esiason gave clarity to what he’s been hearing Monday morning on the “Boomer & Carton” show. He said there’s a good shot Rangers captain Ryan Callahan will be traded in a straight-up deal for Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Boomer said the trade could include a conditional draft pick if Callahan, an impending free agent, decides to stay with Tampa Bay.
“Now the only reason this deal wouldn’t go through is if somebody gets cold feet or somebody lowers their contract demands,” Boomer said.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Blueshirts’ general manager Glen Sather has inquired about a potential swap of team captains in which pending free agent Ryan Callahan would go to the Lightning in exchange for St. Louis, but Yzerman’s absolute lack of interest in dealing his leading scorer in exchange for a rental property has been made clear to the Rangers.
from Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times,
"I don't want to predict out because things can change," Vinik said. "But for the foreseeable future our strategy is to have a great team on the ice and spend at or near the salary cap."
Tampa Bay is spending above this season's $64.3 million cap because of the accounting relief gained by putting defensemen Mattias Ohlund and Brian Lee on long-term injured reserved.
Vinik declined to say how much money the team is losing, though he said losses "have come down dramatically" from when he bought the club in 2010. Spending at or near the cap, he said, is part of the plan to eliminate those losses.
"We want to have an extremely competitive hockey team," Vinik said. "It's part of a strategy. First of all, I'm competitive. We want to win. We want to win a Stanley Cup. It's a lot more fun for our fans, but it also helps us make the playoffs and, hopefully, go deep into the playoffs which is good for the financials."
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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