Sunday, May 27, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Marty St. Louis trade talk part of fallout from Olympic snub

The report that Rangers general manager Glen Sather has inquired about acquiring Lightning captain Marty St. Louis in a trade should not be a surprise.

You have to figure Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman took several calls after St. Louis was left off Canada's original Olympic roster. That put a major strain on St. Louis' relationship with Yzerman, who was Team Canada's executive director.

Why wouldn't teams call to see if the relationship was so broken the Lightning would consider trading its captain?

With the NHL trade deadline March 5, the Rangers trying to trade captain Ryan Callahan (so they don't lose him for nothing as an unrestricted free agent) and St. Louis owning a house in Greenwich, Conn., as Lightning star Steven Stamkos said, "People … put the connection together."

Even so, "I don't think any of it is true," Stamkos said about the trade talk, first reported in the New York Post.

Especially if the swap would be St. Louis straight up for Callahan. If that was the offer, Sather either doesn't know Yzerman very well or he was simply fishing as part of his attempt to trade Callahan. Yzerman is all about keeping and acquiring young talent that helps insulate the organization from salary cap pressures and feeds the conveyor belt from the minors that keeps the franchise invigorated.

In other words, it is highly unlikely Yzerman would go for a one-for-one swap for Callahan, especially with the possibility Callahan only would be a rental before free agency.

Even the Post reported Sather was not willing to give up the additional prospects and/or draft choices it would take for Yzerman to even consider a deal.

St. Louis also has a no-move clause in his contract, though Bob McKenzie wrote on tsn.ca of whispers St. Louis was angered enough by the Olympic snub he would waive the clause for the Rangers.

St. Louis, at 38, is having a strong season with 25 goals, 56 points in 58 games. Tampa Bay also is close to getting Stamkos back from his broken tibia and the team, third in the East, has a chance to do some damage in the playoffs.

The deal would have to be pretty sweet for Yzerman to tinker with team chemistry, the locker room and the expected outcry from fans.

Callahan, 28, also is believed to be looking for a six-year deal at about $6.75 million a season. That seems more than Tampa Bay would commit to a player who, though the type of gritty leader teams desire, has been injured and is struggling with 11 goals, 24 points in 42 games.

St. Louis has one year left on his deal with a salary cap hit of $5.625 million.

The relationship between St. Louis and Yzerman clearly took a hit. But the two have spoken several times, and St. Louis' acknowledgment that Yzerman had a tough job in picking Canada's Olympic team indicates a thaw. Owner Jeff Vinik also met with St. Louis.

And St. Louis did get to the Olympics, and won gold, as Stamkos' replacement.

And as Stamkos said, "A gold medal will heal a lot of things."

As for the March 5 trade deadline, "It's natural for the next 10 days for these rumors to start," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "I'm surprised we haven't heard more of them."

Damian Cristodero can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Published: 05/25/18
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Published: 05/24/18
Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

TAMPA — Don't change a thing.Don't blow it up. Don't fire anyone. Don't overreact.Thursday was not an easy day in Lightning Land. It was the day after the end of a season that ended much too soon. It was a day when bags were packed, questions w...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

TAMPA — Not surprisingly, several Lightning players went through the playoffs with what general manager Steve Yzerman called "significant injuries."He would not elaborate Thursday on who they were, though he said that information will be made p...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

TAMPA — Lightning fans were heading for the exits with three minutes remaining in Tampa Bay's 4-0 loss to Washington Wednesday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Understandable given the disappointment of not reaching the Stanley C...
Published: 05/24/18
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

TAMPA — Washington is on to Vegas. The Lightning is not. So we asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for the single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn't headed to the Stanley Cup final. Here's their answers:Roger Mooney, staff writer: Th...
Published: 05/24/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

The Lightning will miss out on the Stanley Cup final after being shut out by the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. The Bolts were the highest-scoring team during the regular season but failed to score in almost all of the final eigh...
Published: 05/24/18
Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18