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Columnist: Lightning may consider trading St. Louis

Mar 17, 2013, 1:33 PM EDT

Martin St. Louis Getty Images

Tampa Bay was able to get back on the good side of things beating Carolina 4-1 last night, but times are still tough for the Bolts. Are they tough enough to consider dealing a face of the franchise though?

Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times wonders aloud if things continue to go south for the Lightning if they’d consider trading former MVP winner Martin St. Louis.

St. Louis, 37, might look at a team clearly in transition — it is trying to develop Anders Lindback as a No. 1 goaltender and has eight players on its current roster who played last season or have played this season in the AHL — and wonder how much longer he can wait.

If St. Louis was amenable to a deal, or even sought one out quietly, the kind of return he could get in a trade might be bigger than what, say, Calgary could get for Jarome Iginla. St. Louis’ contract goes through the end of the 2014-15 season with a juicy $5.625 cap hit.

While his age may be a concern, his production is not as he’s just one point behind teammate Steven Stamkos for the Lightning lead in scoring and sits fourth overall in the league. A player that productive would be hard to find if you’re a contending team but could be the missing piece towards winning a Stanley Cup.

  1. 19to77 - Mar 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    St. Louis has commented numerous times on how much he loves playing with Stamkos, and how much each has benefitted the other’s career. He’s a core leadership presence on the team and barely a fraction less talented than their best player, who’s a freaking superstar.

    So yeah, forgive my skepticism, Damien Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times. Anyone who knows hockey knows you don’t trade a guy like that unless you’re offerred a massive overpayment. His guaranteed consistency and synergy with Stamkos and others on the team are worth any number of good-on-paper prospects and picks.

    • gospitfires - Mar 17, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      what good is he to a clearly rebuilding lightning when he possibly retires after next season?

    • jl9830 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      It’s not that out of the question. He is 37- it’s fair to think of how many years he has left- and if the Lightning get offered a big package of high-end prospects and draft picks, they’d have to think about it. St. Louis is great, but he might only be great for another two years. You could get multiple high-end 20 year olds for St. Louis.

  2. gotampabay52 - Mar 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    It’s a business if we can get something for him and reduce a cap hit do it tired of keeping players when you can trade them to better the team am a fan of the team not a player

    • 19to77 - Mar 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      You don’t know your team very well, then. You should follow them more closely. You never deal someone who shows A) absurd scoring consistency and B) is beloved in the locker room and by the fans. He’s a unifying and inspiring presence on the team. The younger players can look to him and say “Wow. He’s 38 and still playing like this. I can’t mail a shift in when he’s playing so hard.”

      Besides, while in theory you can get a bunch of pieces for him, if even a couple don’t pan out then suddenly the deal looks like a rip-off – Marty will be awesome on any roster, but there’s no guarantee his return will equal his performance. He’s just that good.

      • calithirteen - Mar 18, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        19to77…..absolutely nailed it! I’m a rangers fan and I’ve watched my team pick up a big name player in the offseason w gaborik, richards, and Nash……they are great additions but for whatever reason seem to lack the spark to ignite our team and produce goals/wins like St. Louis can. St. Louis is a hall of famer in his style of play and his leadership role as well. You’d have to offer me a serious insane deal to let a guy like that go!

  3. misterchainbluelightning - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    WTB more blogs that use the word “juicy” in them

  4. kingbuccaneer - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    DOOOONT DO IT STEVE! Were right there, keep these guys playing together. Lindback is finally (hopefully) getting in a groove. Marty IS Tampa Bay. You don’t trade guys like that and Steve Y knows that.

  5. banger60 - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    rangers? probably not, just wishful thinking. they need HELP! it’s not working in N.Y.

  6. misterchainbluelightning - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Yzerman just planting a story at the right time in an effort to wake the boys up for the playoff push.

  7. mathieug79 - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    I can’t see this happening, the only team I could see even coming close to sending lightning a fair return, would be pittsburg, with the pieces they acquired for Staal, and all the young defensemen they have at the AHL level. If the lightnings trade him they’ll need a projected top 3-4 forward, and a top 2 defensemen. Only a couple teams could give that kind of return, LA, Pitts, and maybe the Ducks (if we can get Perry) But I DONT SEE IT HAPPENING!!!

  8. blomfeld - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    St.Louis to the Canucks for Luongo and Kesler ? …

    It sounds to me like all three of these veteran superstars are in need of a fresh start, so why not give it a go? The Bolts would probably have to add something else in-order to even out the cap hit, etc. But that’s immaterial, as a deal like this could potentially be a God send for both sides!

  9. bcisleman - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Whether it would be in TBL’s long term interests to trade away MSL and break up the Dynamic Duo is a debatable point. What annoys me is the headline for this article.

    To read the headline, one would conclude that Cristodero has sources in the TBL organization who have told him they are considering such a move. In fact, however, when we read the article, we find that the substance of this “story” is that Cristodero is wondering aloud if the TBL should consider trading MSL.

    Joe, I understand that someone else may write these headlines for your piece, but somebody should be more responsible and ensure that the headline reflects the substance.

  10. esracerx46 - Mar 17, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    As a hawks fan id rather have Lecavalier for the stretch run. Then buy him out in the offseason. After all, its not my money.

    • bcisleman - Mar 17, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      VLC is injured…out indefinitely with a lower body injury. Doubt Hawks or any other contender would have cap space needed for him anyway.

  11. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 17, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    He’s 37 years old, and th future of the TBL doesn’t pass through him. If they can deal him while he still has some value on the market then trade him for say a younger player or draft picks, then by all means. No need to hold on to a player who is aging and in his decline. He’s given TBL some very good hockey and they have paid him very well. Business is business, a d some teams can use a veteran player to help them make a push in the playoffs. I hope Boucher doesn’t lose his job. What about Vinny? Do you keep him? He’s 32, and certainly not the future of TBL either. However, he can play an instrumental role leading a young team as they mature should TBL decide to rebuild. Get ride of MSL’s cap hit and keep Vinny a little while longer. Their average age is 28.8, so they need to bring this closer to the south side of 27.5.

    There is no purpose whatsoever in keeping Vinny for the stretch. These guys as done, as all those teams below 500. TBL will not play .700 plus hockey, which is what I believe they need to catch the teams a head of them.

  12. nunan - Mar 17, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    I mean I guess if they were to trade him, now would be the time bc he has so much value. He is going to retire with TB though..no dice

  13. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Mar 17, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    First off, he didn’t actually suggest this might happen, he was suggesting that it might be a good idea.

    Secondly, this is all the writers down here do. They know next to nothing about the sports they cover, and whenever things aren’t going well their first thought is ALWAYS “team X should trade the star”. It was only about a week and a half ago that some clown was suggesting it was time to trade Lecavalier, without even bothering to suggest what type of player(s) they should be looking for in return, and what kind of potential return we should even expect. Because they don’t know. They’re like a kid playing GM mode in a videogame. They have no idea WHAT is causing the Lightning to struggle so they automatically resort to trading the old guy.

    Cliff notes: Ignore any sports writer in the Tampa Bay area.

  14. lsxphotog - Mar 18, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    When I read this article, I found it to be ridiculous. Bringing the topic up is certainly outlandish, IMO. If St. Louis is traded away, I can promise that Tampa fans will revolt and stop going to games. He’s a “good guy” of the game and loves the city…you can replace the talent, but you can’t replace the place he holds in the community and how that will reflect on fans in Tampa who don’t know anything about sports.

    The problems in Tampa are not their players, it’s their coaching. I’ve been staying it since the Flyers stopped the puck and refused to enter into the 1-3-1. Tampa abandoned their original play style and Boucher has had an extremely difficult time getting consistent play from alternative forechecking. I say it’s him. I said it last year. The same thing is going on this year and Stamkos is playing even better than before. Time for a change…

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