New York Rangers: Grading Martin St. Louis
Forward Martin St. Louis joined the New York Rangers in early March during the 2013-14 NHL season. While the Rangers gave up their captain Ryan Callahan and a few picks to acquire the 38-year-old, St. Louis did exactly what he was brought to the team to do: provide leadership and offense.
It all started with an upset St. Louis. With the 2014 Sochi Olympics coming around, St. Louis expressed to Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman that he wanted to be on the Canadian hockey team. Yzerman refused, and the forward then basically forced his way out of Tampa Bay. Luckily for him, the Rangers were also having contract troubles with Callahan, so the two were swapped, with the Rangers adding a few first-round picks.
It’s safe to say St. Louis helped the Rangers find consistency. New York would eventually grab the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and play in the Stanley Cup final. Whenever he was on the ice and had the puck, you would feel optimistic that St. Louis would either score or set up a goal. Many questioned the trade since St. Louis is 38, but he hasn’t shown signs of being old to this point.
He also brought the team together off the ice too. When St. Louis lost his mother, his team rallied around him as they were on the verge of losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Originally down 3-1 in the series, St. Louis and the Rangers rallied to win three straight games and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the three months that St. Louis has been in New York, he’s provided offensive depth and heart. The captain swap seemed crazy at first, but it seems to have worked out for the Rangers. St. Louis only has one year left on his contract, so this could either be his last season, or there could be a small extension on the way. Regardless, he’s done a lot for the team in a short span of time.