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Don’t Go Martin St. Louis

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.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+st.+louis

Comments

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he is as good as gone.  When something like this becomes this public, there usually is no turning back.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 02/27/14 at 09:56 AM ET

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When something like this becomes this public, there usually is no turning back.

You mean Luongo isn’t playing for Vancouver any more?

Posted by wings8 on 02/27/14 at 11:48 AM ET

EDJ's avatar

I think it’s unlikely, but possible that MSL stays.

But I don’t agree with the writer in that MSL is wrong or has a duty to the team. Yeah, MSL should have said something different for the sake of the team, but he has the right to want out. No player is going to sit down in front of the Olympic roster, especially one who has won the Art Ross, and say to himself, “Yeah, Kunitz is a better player than me, Giroux probably deserves to get in before me…” etc. Not only is it unlikely that he believes any of those things, but it would be extremely damaging to his confidence to think like that. He’s got to protect himself too.

Posted by EDJ on 02/27/14 at 02:57 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

But I don’t agree with the writer in that MSL is wrong or has a duty to the team. Yeah, MSL should have said something different for the sake of the team, but he has the right to want out.

I couldn’t agree more.  As fans we have this stange idea that the players have to be utterly loyal and live-or-die committed to the teams and on the very rare occasions when a player quits on a team we utterly lambaste him.  We seldom react that way on any of the hundreds of times the teams quit on a player, though.  MSL was a part of the Lightning at their high point, but this isn’t that Lightning.  They foolishly gave away Richards, Boyle and overspent to keep Vinnie.  They’ve squandered a few more good MSL years by not getting the goalie they needed until now (obviously those don’t grow on trees) and there have been a lot of personnel misevaluations.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 02/27/14 at 03:35 PM ET

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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.

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