Tampa Bay Lightning's Marty St. Louis "baffled" at state of negotiations but not bolting to Europe
Tampa Bay Lightning star Marty St. Louis said he is "baffled" by the state of negotiations between the Players' Association and league on a new collective bargaining agreement.
"Do the math," he said about the union's last proposal that has the sides $182 million apart over a five-year deal. "Thirty teams, it's not that much."
Added captain Vinny Lecavalier: "For everything we've offered and how proactive we've been, it's the opposite for (the league). It's like negotiating with nobody. ... But I still think with everything we've offered and everything we've done, it would be ridiculous not to start the season."
With no negotiations since Tuesday and none scheduled, there is nothing to indicate that will happen soon. Even so, St. Louis, 37, isn't ready to find an alternate place to play. The wing, who during the 2004-05 lockout played in Switzerland, said over the summer that if negotiations dragged he would play in Europe, and he is keeping his options open. But it is clear St. Louis, with his wife and three sons in Tampa, would rather not make the move.
We know Lecavalier, expecting in March his third child with wife Caroline, is not going anywhere. Star center Steven Stamkos apparently has no immediate plans to go to Europe, either.
In the meantime, St. Louis, Lecavalier and a small group of teammates (Stamkos pops in from time to time) will continue skating three times a week at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, on Monday in front of three fans.
"I'm trying to entertain a few people," St. Louis said and added with a laugh, "our season ticket holder."
Bottom line, he said of the workouts, "This is better than nothing."