Friday, June 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

How St. Louis trade speculation started

The story was kind of a throwaway, really, more a what-if than anything else. But the item in this newspaper a few weeks ago that wondered if Lightning star Marty St. Louis would consider waving his no-trade clause if general manager Steve Yzerman decided to move him turned into much more.

The story was clear there was no basis for believing Yzerman wanted to trade the greatest points producer in team history or that St. Louis, 37, wished to leave the team for which he has played since 2000. But given the rich return St. Louis would bring, St. Louis' desire to win again before he calls it quits and Tampa Bay's struggles, it might be worth considering.

Still, it wasn't long before Internet- and Twitter-fueled speculation had St. Louis going to perhaps the Bruins or Canadiens. There was enough chatter that Yzerman decided to turn it off for good before it became a distraction.

Usually cryptic when talking about personnel issues, Yzerman was clear Friday, speaking first to espn.com's Pierre Le­Brun and then local reporters, that St. Louis is not going anywhere before Wednesday's trade deadline.

"He's one of our best players," Yzerman said. "He's one of the best players in the league."

St. Louis' kinship with Steven Stamkos is one of the cornerstones of the franchise, and his leadership and the example he sets in a locker room full of rookies are invaluable. And he still is productive.

Entering Saturday, St. Louis' 43 points were fourth in the league, his 35 assists second. So of course teams were calling.

But Yzerman knows if the Lightning is to turn things around, in the short and long term, the team needs a heart and soul, especially now with a new coach trying to establish himself and a roster full of impressionable youngsters fresh out of the minors. Stamkos needs St. Louis, too.

No wonder Yzerman said he is not going to trade St. Louis. Maybe we shouldn't have brought it up in the first place.

Comments
Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

The Lightning has re-signed one of its restricted free agents in backup goalie Louis Domingue, who will be back with Tampa Bay on a two-year deal worth $2.3 million.Domingue, 26, was acquired from Arizona in November after he had posted a 4.33 goals-...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning names ex-player Jeff Halpern as new assistant coach

Lightning names ex-player Jeff Halpern as new assistant coach

The Lightning has filled one of the openings on Jon Cooper's coaching staff, announcing Friday  that former Tampa Bay forward Jeff Halpern has been hired as an assistant coach.Halpern, 42, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Steve Yzerman: Lightning won’t re-sign forward Chris Kunitz

Steve Yzerman: Lightning won’t re-sign forward Chris Kunitz

As expected, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he does not intend to re-sign veteran forward Chris Kunitz, who will seek his fifth Stanley Cup with a different team next season.Kunitz, 38, brought much-needed playoff experience in his lone...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

The Lightning isn't scheduled to pick until the second round, but there's no telling how active they might be with trades, so you'll want to follow our live coverage throughout the NHL draft Friday (Round 1) and Saturday (Rounds 2-7) in Dallas.(funct...
Updated: 6 hours ago
2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

NHL schedules all balance out at the end, but the Lightning will open 2018-19 with five straight home games and end the season with its last four on the road.The Lightning released its schedule Thursday evening for the upcoming season, with all sorts...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

The Lightning doesn't have a first-round pick in this weekend's draft, but that's not to say the weekend couldn't be busy for general manager Steve Yzerman and his front office.The Lightning sent its top draft pick to the Rangers in February as part ...
Published: 06/21/18
Islanders hire Barry Trotz as coach fresh off winning Stanley Cup

Islanders hire Barry Trotz as coach fresh off winning Stanley Cup

DALLAS — The New York Islanders have hired Barry Trotz as their new head coach. President of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello announced the move Thursday at the NHL draft, two weeks after Trotz won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals and thr...
Published: 06/21/18
Lightning’s Victor Hedman salutes survivors in Norris Trophy acceptance speech

Lightning’s Victor Hedman salutes survivors in Norris Trophy acceptance speech

The victims and survivors of three tragedies — the mass shootings in Las Vegas and at Parkland Stoneman Douglas High School, and the bus accident that killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team — were a big part of Wedne...
Published: 06/21/18
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Published: 06/20/18
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Published: 06/20/18