By Dory LeBlanc
After almost 13 seasons wearing the blue and white, reports from reputable sources are claiming Martin St. Louis is no longer a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Shortly after the NHL resumed following its league-mandated break for the Sochi Winter Games, reports out of New York surfaced that the Lightning captain was so upset over not being named to the original Team Canada roster by then-Executive Director Steve Yzerman, who is also and Vice President and General Manager of the Bolts, that St. Louis demanded a trade to the Rangers.
When asked about the rumors last week, the 14-year veteran admitted that he and Yzerman had spoken about his future, but refused to delve any deeper than that.
The comments didn't do anything to quell the rumors, however, and the St. Louis-to-New York reports continued, culminating in multiple reports Wednesday morning that the deal was imminent.
The deal has not yet been officially announced by the Lightning, but Tampa Tribune Beat Writer Erik Erlendsson tweeted that the reports are true, with Tampa Bay likened to receive Rangers captain Ryan Callahan as well as first- and second-round draft picks for the long-time Bolt.
Not that it needs confirmation, but reports from Bob McKenzie are true, Marty St. Louis has been traded to NYR— Erik Erlendsson (@erlendssonTBO) March 5, 2014
St. Louis, who played over 1,000 games for the Lightning, recorded 973 points over the course of his tenure in Tampa Bay, is a six-time All-Star (2003-04, 2007-09, 2011), three-time Lady Byng Trophy winner (2010-11, 2013, two-time Art Ross Trophy winner (2004, 2013), Hart Memorial Trophy recipient (2004) and Stanley Cup champion (2004).
Stay tuned to 620 am/95.3 fm and 620wdae.com for details as they come in.
12:20 pm UPDATE:
The New York Rangers have tweeted confirmation of the deal, via their official account:
OFFICIAL NEWS: #NYR have acquired Martin St. Louis from Tampa Bay in exchange for Ryan Callahan and 2 draft picks.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 5, 2014
12:30 pm UPDATE:
LIGHTNING ACQUIRE FORWARD RYAN CALLAHAN, DRAFT PICKS FROM NEW YORK
St. Louis Dealt to Rangers
TAMPA, FL (via Tampa Bay Lightning Communications) – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Ryan Callahan, a conditional second-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and a first round selection in 2015 in exchange for Martin St. Louis, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. The Lightning’s conditional second round pick becomes a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft if the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Final this season. If Callahan re-signs with the Lightning the two teams will swap selections in the 2015 NHL Draft, with the Rangers acquiring the Lightning’s second-round pick while Tampa Bay will get New York’s seventh-round pick.
Callahan, 28, has skated in 45 games with the Rangers this season, posting 11 goals and 25 points to go along with 16 penalty minutes. The Rangers captain has notched four power play goals, ranking tied for fourth on New York. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward registered a season-best, five-game point streak from October 11 through November 7, recording five goals and two assists during that stretch.
“The Lightning are very excited to have Ryan Callahan join the organization and help us in our quest to make the playoffs,” Yzerman said. “Ryan is an outstanding player and leader who we look forward to seeing on the ice tomorrow night.”
“We’d like to thank Marty for everything he has done on and off the ice during his outstanding 13-year career in Tampa Bay. He has been one of the greatest players in the organization’s history but in the end we honored his request today. We wish him and his family the best of luck as he continues his career in New York.”
The Rochester, New York native represented Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, appearing in six games and collecting one assist. Callahan also played for his country at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, earning a Silver Medal.
Callahan has played in 450 career NHL games, all with the Rangers, over eight seasons, collecting 132 goals and 254 points. He set career-highs during the 2011-12 season for goals (29), points (54), penalty minutes (61), power-play goals (13) and game-winning goals (nine).
He was originally drafted by the Rangers in the fourth round, 127th overall, at the 2004 NHL Draft.