NHL Trade Rumor Update: Tampa Bay Lighting Not Looking to Deal Martin St. Louis
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By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tull0)
The word “imminent” around the National Hockey League has begun to take on a new meaning, especially in New York City where we have heard for months now that a trade involving Rangers captain Ryan Callahan could take place at any moment. It left many New York fans wondering what to do with their ‘Captain Cally’ shirts at first and now many wondering if they can get them back from the Good Will bins they threw them out in.
After former NFL quarterback and WFAN radio show host Boomer Esiason made it seem all but done that Callahan would be heading south to Tampa Bay in exchange for Canadian gold medal winner Martin St. Louis over the weekend, reports from Monday evening are telling a different story.
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Yes, Martin St. Louis, last year’s Art Ross Trophy recipient and the Lightning’s current leading scorer asked the Tampa Bay brass for a trade according to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet. But that apparently was a result of being left off of Team Canada’s 2014 Olympic roster, which Lightning GM Steve Yzerman put together.
Fortunately for the 38-year-old forward, the injury to Stamkos meant he would fly out to Sochi and come back to the U.S. with a gold medal, which apparently can mend anything.
With Tampa making an unexpected appearance at the top of the Eastern Conference despite losing Stamkos for the majority of the season, it wouldn’t seem to make much sense for Yzerman to shake up his team with 20 regular season games to go, especially with Stamkos getting closer to his return.
Callahan is on the last leg of his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent on Jul. 1 with a lot of contract demands and would likely be a rental for any team at this point. St. Louis on the other hand has a year remaining on his contract, taking him to the end of the 2014-2015 season. That alone would make it a no-brainer for New York, but a fool’s trade for the Lightning.
As you would expect, the Rangers showed deep interest but the Lightning are not reciprocating, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post:
“Blueshirt’s general manager Glen Sather has inquired about a potential swap of team captains in which pending free agent Ryan Callahan would go to the Lightning in exchange for St. Louis, but Yzerman’s absolute lack of interest in dealing his leading scorer in exchange for a rental property has been made clear to the Rangers.”