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Tampa Bay Lightning's Marty St. Louis won't play for Canada at world championships

WINNIPEG — Lightning RW Marty St. Louis said he will not play for Canada at next month's world championship in Sweden and Finland.

It has nothing to do with bitterness about being left off Canada's 2010 Olympic team, he said Saturday. "I just want to spend time with my kids. I want to get involved in their hockey, and it's an opportunity to do that in the next month and a half."

There also is this: "I'm not getting any younger," St. Louis, 36, said. "I want to rest the engine, I guess." St. Louis, because of the team's long injury list, played a lot more minutes than he or coach Guy Boucher wanted. His average 22:35 of ice time entering Saturday was second in the league among all forwards. "I'm a little banged up," he said.

He still produced. With 25 goals, he has at least 20 for the ninth straight season. His 74 points are his first below 80 since 2005-06, mostly because of a struggling power play.

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who heads Canada's 2014 Olympic effort, said he spoke to St. Louis about participating, but St. Louis said it's time for a rest.

"I don't think it's a tough decision in terms of putting your family first," he said. "But I think at 36, I've played in a world championship, I've played in World Cups, and I've played in the Olympics. I don't think I need another world championship."

LW Ryan Malone, who played for the 2010 U.S. Olympic team, said he also will not play at worlds.

HEDMAN IN: It makes sense D Victor Hedman will be invited to play for Sweden at worlds after playing in 2010. "And I think I'm a much better player than I was then."

Even so, Hedman, 21, said he hasn't been at his best lately and blames missing 17 games since late December, including 13 with a concussion. "I'm doing mistakes during games where I said, 'Why do I do that?' I haven't been on the high level I need to be."

"It's tough to know how a guy comes back after a head injury. He can't be the same," Boucher said. "They've always got that in the back of their minds. Even though he won't admit it, that had an effect on him hesitating on plays."

RECORD SETTING: RW Teddy Purcell's hat trick against the Jets gave him a career-bests 24 goals. But his 65 points were most special; they are the most by an NHL player from Newfoundland.

FOR CHARITY: C Vinny Lecavalier accepted a $2,000 check for Cut for the Cure from members of Ontario's Couchiching First Nation, which has four teams in town for a tournament. "This is great," said Lecavalier, one of six Lightning players who shaved their heads to raise money for cancer research.

ODDS AND ENDS: RW J.T. Brown got his first NHL point with an assist on Purcell's second goal. … The Lightning lost 308 man-games to injury, its second-worst season since 2002-03. Only C Steven Stamkos and D Brett Clark played all 82 games. … D Bruno Gervais and C Tim Wallace were healthy scratches. … AHL Norfolk's record winning streak is at 25 games after a 4-1 win over Binghamton. … Norfolk D Mark Barberio is an AHL first-team all-star. LW Cory Conacher is a second-teamer.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Marty St. Louis won't play for Canada at world championships 04/07/12 [Last modified: Sunday, April 8, 2012 12:18am]
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