Angry Alexis: Don’t Tell Me To Forgive Marty!

by Alexis Boucher | Posted on Friday, May 16th, 2014

MStLouis3March 5, 2014: a date that will live in infamy for fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning. That was the day we saw our captain and long time champion of the underdog, Martin St. Louis, traded to the New York Rangers. A little over two months ago the face of the franchise decided he wanted to play somewhere else and there was only one team he wanted to play for. Despite the speedy nature of today’s news cycle this wasn’t that long ago. That’s why it’s a bit surprising to see an article in today’s Tampa Bay Times by Tom Jones suggesting it’s time for fans to forgive Marty and forget our anger. I would suggest to Mr. Jones that he’s not in the position to tell Lightning fans what they can and should feel about #26. (Photo/Susan Ferlita)

There’s no denying Marty’s importance to the Lightning. He was a two time scoring champion, league MVP, Stanley Cup champion and a litany of other accolades. He was the heart and soul of this team for over a decade. He was the face on the side of the arena downtown. His was the one welcoming visitors to Tampa on the tram at the airport.All of this is true. He WAS those things. Mr. Jones is romanticizing past accomplishments in an attempt to gloss over a very messy departure.

Marty wanted out of Tampa Bayand seemingly wanted to go for years. He would have gone without a word on March 5th if a reporter hadn’t been at the airport where his own voice played on a loop. The argument can be made that the trade wasn’t about the fans and to a certain extent that’s true. Sports are a business. Take the fans and our reaction out of the equation and you still have a captain bailing on a young team making a push for the playoffs.

We don’t know all the reasons for St. Louis’ departure and maybe we never will. When everything went down it felt like Marty was waiting for a chance to leave town and the Olympic snub gave it to him, even after bringing a gold medal home from Sochi. Mr. Jones is right about one thing. The trade is over and done with. We’ll never know if the Lightning would have fared differently in the post season if Marty stayed. We’ll never know the kind of return GM Steve Yzerman would have received if a trade took place this summer. It’s hard not to feel like he abandoned the team that gave him a shot in the NHL.

It’s hard not to feel like this was a messy break up of a long term relationship. Some fans have moved on and some haven’t. We’re not wishing Marty harm, in fact we wished him well in light of the recent loss in his family. Maybe one day things won’t be so contentious, but we’re only two months away from a moment that shook us to the core. We may get there one day, Mr. Jones, but not today. It’s going to take time for this bitterness to fade and that’s okay.  We’re just not ready to reestablish him as our hero and cheer him on as he hopes to play for the Stanley Cup… with another team.

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Alexis Boucher
About the Author

Managing Editor and Senior Writer Alexis Boucher is a transplant from the Northeast, who worships in the churches of hockey and baseball. She has followed the Lightning since the late 90's. A graduate of the Florida State University Creative Writing program, she has been blogging for over three years. She has a penchant for loud music, enforcers, and good beer.

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