Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning's St. Louis, Yzerman don't quash trade rumors

In his first practice with the team since winning a gold medal with Canada at the Olympics, Marty St. Louis acknowledged he has had discussions with GM Steve Yzerman about his future with the Lightning.


In his first practice with the team since winning a gold medal with Canada at the Olympics, Marty St. Louis acknowledged he has had discussions with GM Steve Yzerman about his future with the Lightning.

Whether or not Marty St. Louis formally asked for a trade doesn't really matter much at this point.

The Lightning captain and general manager Steve Yzerman had a chance to squelch speculation that St. Louis wants out and Yzerman is talking to teams.

They didn't.

Instead, St. Louis threw fuel Wednesday on what had been merely a smoldering fire and at least created the perception he has asked to be moved, and Yzerman took his version of the Fifth Amendment.

"The only thing I can say about that is I've had conversations with Steve on my future here," St. Louis said after practice at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. "Out of respect for my teammates, that's all I'm going to say about that."

Said Yzerman: "I'm not going to comment on trade rumors in this situation or any situation."

In other words, fasten your seat belts for seven days of speculation and rumors in the run-up to Wednesday's trade deadline.

It's just the kind of turmoil it would seem the Lightning, which opens a four-game road trip — all against playoff contenders — tonight against the Predators, doesn't need.

Defenseman Eric Brewer acknowledged, "the uncertainty is not ideal."

But he also said, "Guys aren't made of sugar, right? They're not going to melt."

"It's a couple of extra questions you have to answer," center Steven Stamkos said, "but I don't think it really circulates around the room where guys are thinking about it constantly."

Still, this is about St. Louis, the franchise's greatest player who this season has team highs of 25 goals and 31 assists in 58 games.

It is the continuation of a story that began Jan. 7, when St. Louis was left off the Olympic roster for Team Canada, of which Yzerman was executive director.

St. Louis, admittedly bitter, was added as a replacement for the injured Stamkos and won a gold medal. But St. Louis' feelings are raw enough that even owner Jeff Vinik spoke to him.

The thing is, the Lightning is in a heated playoff race in which all players need to row in the same direction. Alternate captain Nate Thompson said he's not worried about St. Louis' commitment.

"I don't think anyone is going to question or second-guess Marty's motives, ever," Thompson said. "He's a first-class player, a first-class person. We believe in him no matter what. What goes on between him and Steve is between him and Steve."

It's not publicly known what went on between St. Louis and Yzerman, who have spoken several times since St. Louis was left off Canada's roster.

"I'm not going to get into answering these questions every day," said St. Louis, 38, who has one year left on his contract. "These are conversations I've had between me and Steve, and they're going to stay that way."

St. Louis' agent did not return phone and text messages.

So with no one saying anything of substance on the record, this is what is known:

New York's Newsday reporting St. Louis asked for a trade last month; the New York Post reporting the Ran­gers offered wing Ryan Callahan; and Bob McKenzie of reporting St. Louis, with a house in Greenwich, Conn., would waive his no-move clause to go to New York.

And St. Louis and Yzerman saying nothing to make us believe otherwise.

NOTES: Goalie Anders Lindback (ankle) was sent to AHL Syracuse for conditioning, meaning Kristers Gudlevskis will be the backup. … Center Vlad Namestnikov was recalled from the Crunch. It was unclear if either center Valtteri Filppula (ankle) or Tyler Johnson (foot), both of whom practiced Wednesday, was too sore to play or if the move was precautionary.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @LightningTimes.


Lightning at Predators

When/where: 8; Bridge­stone Arena, Nashville

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 970-AM

Key stats: Lightning G Ben Bishop is tied for third in the league with 28 victories and a 1.98 goals-against average and is tied for second with a .933 save percentage. … Tampa Bay is 12-6-2 against the West but on a 1-4-0 road streak. … The Predators are the only team that has not allowed a shorthanded goal. … Nashville is 17-1-1 when leading after the first period. … Shea Weber is tied for the league lead among defensemen with 15 goals.

Lightning's St. Louis, Yzerman don't quash trade rumors 02/26/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 9:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say that the Rays are out of it, but they did score six runs Tuesday in a 6-5 win over the Blue Jays.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off major right knee surgery, understandably often takes it easy running the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single.

  3. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.
  4. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Blue Jays

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman laughs after Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran reached first on an infield single during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
  5. 'Hard Knocks' star Riley Bullough still not a lock for Bucs


    TAMPA — Bucs undrafted rookie LB Riley Bullough is perhaps the surprise star of HBO's Hard Knocks and has been productive in two preseason games, but Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Tuesday that he's caught in a numbers game competing for a backup spot on the Tampa Bay roster.

    Riley Bullough has made a good impression on Hard Knocks and on coach Dirk Koetter, but he isn’t guaranteed a job.