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Stamkos, St. Louis stump for each other as Lightning captain

Marty St. Louis, left, and Steven Stamkos.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Marty St. Louis, left, and Steven Stamkos.

TAMPA — Steven Stamkos on Monday said there has been no discussion between him and the coaching staff about the Lightning's open captain position.

But Tampa Bay's star center consistently has lobbied in the media for the job to go to Marty St. Louis.

"So, hopefully, they read the paper," Stamkos said.

Coach Jon Cooper has not disclosed the candidates to wear the C, but it is believed it will be either St. Louis, the iconic face of the franchise, or Stamkos, one of the league's most dynamic players.

The reveal is tonight at an invitation-only event at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, the end of an evaluation Cooper said took all training camp.

"There's nobody like the captain of a hockey team," Cooper said at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "For me, it's the highest honor possible. You're the guy who everybody looks to. You're the one who's accountable for your team. You have to have a presence, no doubt. … Whoever our captain turns out to be, he'll have a presence."

The Lightning has been without a captain since June, when Vinny Lecavalier, who held the job since 2008, was bought out of his contract. St. Louis and Stamkos were alternates.

St. Louis, 38, is a former league MVP, a two-time points champion and a three-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship.

Stamkos, 23, has more goals, 185, than any player since the start of the 2009-10 season.

They are part of the same mutual admiration society.

"The way he plays the game," St. Louis said when asked why Stamkos would make a good captain. "Steve can be vocal, and he's developing into a pretty good leader. On top of that he plays the game at a high level. He understands how you play in this league, how you survive, how you dominate. It's a lot of hard work. He gets it."

But Stamkos countered with this about St. Louis: "Whether it's leading by example or in the room being vocal, he does it all. You can't teach that. You either have it or you don't, and Marty has that in him. He's a heart-and-soul type of guy. He's paid his dues a long time in this league. He's definitely deserving."

Both said it won't matter who is captain because leadership in the locker room is best done by a group.

Cooper believes that, too, and said, "I like where we're at in that situation … but one guy has to be the leader of that group."

"I think everyone is going to be comfortable with who it's going to be," right wing Teddy Purcell said. "But it's going to be a collective group and all about a team-first mentality, so it doesn't really matter who gets it."

Reminded Stamkos once said if he had to put money down on the captaincy it would be on St. Louis, Purcell smiled:

"Probably not a bad bet."

Moves: Forwards Mike Angelidis and Dana Tyrell cleared waivers and were assigned to AHL Syracuse. Defenseman Matt Taormina also cleared but will stay with the Lightning on injured reserve because of a previously undisclosed upper-body issue. He is out indefinitely.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@tampabay.com.

Lightning season opener

at Bruins, 7 p.m. Thursday, Sun Sports

Stamkos, St. Louis stump for each other as Lightning captain 09/30/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 11:45am]
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