With the NHL Trade Deadline looming in the not too distant future there’s been a lot of chatter regarding who might be traded and where they could land come March 5.
One of the more intriguing storylines surrounds the future of Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis who, according to numerous reports, asked Bolts GM Steve Yzerman for a trade after being left off Team Canada’s original Olympic roster. He did end up going though, replacing teammate and linemate Steven Stamkos, whose broken right tibia had not healed sufficiently enough to compete in Sochi, and brought home a gold medal.
That shiny piece of jewelry should be enough to make everything better. Right? I’m not so sure, as St. Louis only offered a brief, vague statement which added fuel to the already smoldering hot fire by saying he and Yzerman have had discussions about his future.
Now what exactly does that mean? Is St. Louis ready to abandon the team he’s spent more than a decade with over an Olympic snub? Does he really want to give up on the team he’s helped keep firmly in the playoff picture despite missing their leading scorer and power play specialist for nearly four months? If so, there’s a lot more wrong than just being left off Canada’s initial roster.
Look, I know how much it hurts to be passed over for something you deserve. And yes, when it’s your own boss making the final decisions there’s no doubt the pain’s greater. But this is when both parties need to shelve their differences for the time being and focus on the really important things, like helping the Lightning secure their first postseason berth since 2011.
Can these two do that? While unknown, the team’s playoff hopes depend upon St. Louis acting like someone worthy of wearing the captain’s “C” on his jersey and Yzerman making moves to better this team, not only now but in the future, instead of pouting or alienating the organization’s heart and soul to the point where he wants out. If they can’t do that, the Lightning have glaring issues, none of which have anything to do with them possibly becoming hockey’s version of the 2011 Boston Red Sox.