It has been reported by several media outlets that Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis asked to be traded when Bolts GM Steve Yzerman, who also played general manager for Team Canada’s gold medal winning team in Sochi, left the franchise’s all-time leading scorer off the Canadian Olympic team when the original roster was announced on February 7, 2014.
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) February 24, 2014
Neither St. Louis nor Yzerman have officially confirmed the trade request, but be sure, they will be questioned on this matter upon returning home to North America some time today.
If it is true; St. Louis was so offended by his original Olympic snub, there is a possibility that he may have changed his mind since.
Mere days before NHL players landed in Sochi for the 2014 Games Lightning team doctors confirmed that centre Steven Stamkos was not healthy enough to represent his country at the Olympics. With an open spot on the Canadian roster, it was St. Louis who was named number 91’s replacement.
Martin St. Louis did not play a regular shift for Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic hockey tournament, however, he did earn ice time in Canada’s 3-0 gold medal game victory over the depleted Swedes. Marty, who was a member of Canada’s disappointing Torino team that failed to medal, and did not make the cut in 2010 when Canada claimed top prize on home ice in Vancouver, finally got Olympic gold.
Here is a happy St. Louis posing for a post-victory picture with teammates Roberto Luongo, Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, Dan Hamhuis and Mike Smith:
I love my teammates! pic.twitter.com/cWSDgL4foa
— Strombone (@strombone1) February 23, 2014
If there is any truth to the rumour that Martin St. Louis wanted out of Tampa Bay a month ago, he may have changed his mind since then in light of inevitably making the team and winning gold.
This is not an easy situation for Yzerman. If St. Louis still wants out of Tampa, Yzerman’s hand will be forced and other GMs will recognize this as a sign of weakness, not unlike the Roberto Luongo trade debacle of last season. And besides, it’s difficult to trade the captain and team’s leading scorer with the playoffs less than two months away.