TAMPA — Safe to say that if Marty St. Louis wanted to play for Canada in next month's world championship, the right wing, whose 42 assists lead the league and whose 55 points are second, would have a spot.
But St. Louis said he will pass on the tournament in Sweden and Finland because it is time to spend time with his kids.
"My kids have a lot of stuff going on," he said. "I just want to be part of it."
Several other Tampa Bay players certainly will be asked to participate.
C Steven Stamkos and RW Teddy Purcell have said they want to play for Canada.
G Anders Lindback and D Victor Hedman said they are interested in playing for Sweden, and C Nate Thompson and D Matt Carle for the United States.
"Any time you get a chance to play for your country in an international event, you have to give it serious consideration," coach Jon Cooper said. "We're going to be out of playing hockey from the end of April. That gives you May, June, July, August and half of September to sit there and think about getting back on the ice."
That said, "is it a fit for everybody?" Cooper added. "It isn't."
For St. Louis, who turns 38 in June, giving his body a break probably isn't a bad idea. But St. Louis, who has three boys with his wife, Heather, said it's more about family.
"I missed a lot of my kids' stuff when I was with the (collective bargaining agreement) negotiations (last year)," he said. "They have some exciting things going on. I want to be part of it."
SHOW TIME: St Louis' goal Sunday against the Hurricanes that made the score 3-2 was a superb collaboration with C Vinny Lecavalier.
Lecavalier beat Patrick Dwyer on an offensive zone faceoff by pushing the puck forward and passing cross ice to St. Louis, who beat G Dan Ellis.
More impressive, it was a set play.
"It turned out perfect," Lecavalier said. "It's a play that happens maybe once a year, maybe if you're lucky."
INJURIES: F Tom Pyatt, out two games after an April 14 head shot from Sabres D Mike Weber, and D Sami Salo, who left Thursday's game at Montreal with a back issue, played in the 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes.
CHALLENGE: RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie did not like the way Carolina D Tim Gleason in the third period shoved him into the end boards while they chased a puck. So Labrie cross-checked Gleason across the chest to challenge him to fight. But Lighting RW B.J. Crombeen also cross-checked him, across the back. Gleason went down, and teammates helped him off the ice. There was no word on his condition. "I don't know if he was hurt for real," Labrie said. "But if I hit somebody like that, I'd be willing to step up for myself."
ODDS AND ENDS: Cooper said D Radko Gudas, with five hits, was Tampa Bay's "most involved player from start to finish." … The Lightning won the season series with Carolina 4-1-0. … Syracuse C Tyler Johnson was named the AHL's most valuable player with 37 goals, 65 points and plus-26 in 62 games. … G Mathieu Garon and LW Ben Pouliot were scratched. … The Lightning wore its road white jerseys at the request of the Hurricanes, who wore their black third jerseys.