UPDATED With Video And Audio: Lightning Trade Martin St. Louis

by W.B. Philp | Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

MStLouis7The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded their Captain and the “heart and soul” of the franchise, Martin St. Louis. He goes to the New York Rangers for forward Ryan Callahan, a 2015 first round draft pick and a 2014 second round pick. If Callahan, a pending UFA is signed by Tampa Bay, a conditional draft pick will be sent to the Rangers. If the Rangers get to the Conference Final this year, both draft picks will be first rounders.

St. Louis apparently got what he wanted as sources early in the day reported that he was “encouraging” GM Steve Yzerman to get a deal done. This is proof that the relationship between St. Louis and Yzerman had become so toxic that the deal had to be made.  (Photo/Susan Ferlita)

The 28 year old Callahan has 11 goals and 25 points in 45 games this season.

The big question is what will the Lightning do with Callahan at the end of the season. He is an unrestricted free agent who was looking for a long term deal at $6-7 million per year. Only time will tell if Callahan is simply a rental.

It is possible that Yzerman will move Callahan as other teams have expressed interest.

Owner Jeffrey Vinik and GM Steve Yzerman‘s legacy, so far, is getting rid of the two biggest stars in Lightning history, the most recent captains, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.

Here is the release from the team:

TAMPA BAY – 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.

In an exclusive interview with Fox 13’s Kevin O’Donnell, St. Louis said:

“The only thing I can say is the fans in Tampa have been nothing but great to me and my family for many, many years, hands-down. A lot more than I was expecting here in Tampa. I know it’s a sad day for everybody and it’s a sad day for me in many ways. I’m excited about what’s ahead of me but it’s the business and it’s a tough day for everybody. A lot of fans wanted to see you finish with the Lightning. Was that something that’s unattainable?”

“I just think this is what’s best for me and my family as you find your way through the league. My kids are older now. I guess I did not expect to maybe still be performing and playing at the level that I am at this age. Family was a big part of the equation.”

“Everybody wants to win a Cup and gold medals. I’m fortunate enough to have done that but I’d still like to win another Cup. Especially now that my kids are older and they would remember it. But unfortunately it’s not going to be here. I feel for the fans. I’m thankful for everything they brought. They really made me feel at home. In a lot of ways, I grew up here. As a player, this is where I grew up. I know it’s hard for them and it’s not an easy thing for me either.”

“Things happen in this business. It is what it is. Like I said, I haven’t really had a chance to collect all my thoughts but I want to make sure I say thank you to the Tampa fans for everything they’ve done for me.”

Here is the audio clip from the Steve Yzerman press conference where he addresses the trade:

Here is the audio clip of coach Jon Cooper’s comments on the trade:

Martin St. Louis postgame Rangers press conference video:

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W.B. Philp
About the Author

W.B. Philp is the founder and Editor in Chief of the NHLShout Network. He is a longtime sportswriter, grandfather, father, husband, Melrose hater, instigator, agitator and vindicator.

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  1. BigKahuna BigKahuna says:

    Your site has done a great job on this trade deadline day. Thanks for all the updates. Good riddance Marty. You stabbed us in the heart.

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