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St. Louis to Lightning fans: ‘I’m sorry’

Mar 5, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Lighting v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

Martin St. Louis got what he wished for – a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the New York Rangers – but he left a lot of jilted fans in the process. The Bolts’ former captain left a letter behind to Lightning fans to say thanks … and sorry.

“I respect the fact that many of you do not agree with my decision and are angry with it,” St. Louis wrote in the letter. “All I really can say is that I am sorry and I am very appreciative of the support you have shown me through the years.”

After 972 regular season games and 63 playoff contests that peaked with a Stanley Cup win, two scoring titles and a Hart Trophy, St. Louis left town in a captain-for-captain trade with Ryan Callahan. There won’t be much time between that decision and his debut, as he’ll make his first appearance with the Rangers against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

(He’s expected to slide into Callahan’s right wing spot at even strength and on the power play.)

Fox Sports’ Andrew Astleford tweeted the full letter from the 38-year-old:

The Rangers and Lightning won’t meet in the 2013-14 regular season, so the only way St. Louis will face the Bolts would be in a seven-game playoff series.

  1. joey4id - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    One day the wounds will have healed and his number will be retired and hanging from the rafters.

    • barkar942 - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      As is should be.

  2. brycewest - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    The guy’s a class act in my book. He did incredible things in his 14 years with the Lightning, and deserves to be happy playing…where ever that may be. Good luck, Marty.

  3. penvik - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    This guy should be banned from hockey! What a disgrace! Glad Tampa fleeced the rangers in the deal.

    • brycewest - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:36 PM

      penvik, I’ve read several of your comments on this site and am embarrassed that you’re a hockey fan, let alone a Pen’s fan. Nothing you’ve said contains a shred of coherent thought, and all of hockey (and mankind, for that matter) are lessened by the fact that you still draw breath. Please, please…find a sharp object and poke yourself repeatedly. thanks

    • lesleyvissersfacelift - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      Penvik, what you’ve just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      • cdalton2690 - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        Any Billy Madison reference gets a thumbs up in my book, well done sir/madame.

      • jhaegs - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:50 PM

        I’ve used that quote before, and it wasn’t very popular either. Bunch of old farts don’t get the reference…

        Oh well, get on with the boraphyl!!!

    • cofran2004 - Mar 6, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      fleeced? The rangers got the better player. And he’s signed next year too. Tampa got an injury prone 5’10 grinder who was beloved here in NY, but let’s face it… Cally doesn’t have that locker room. He has yet to establish himself on that team, and his intangibles won’t become useful until next season. And that’s if he stays put, and doesn’t sign elsewhere.

      Picks are only useful in the hands of a GM that knows what to do with them. Glen Sather is not that, so giving our picks away wasn’t a bad call. This was no where near a fleecing. It was actually pretty close to even for the value each team got back.

  4. dropthepuckeh - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Tough way to end an incredible career in Tampa. I think most people assumed he would retire there in a couple of years and then work for the organization. I guess further down the road that might still be a possibility. Hard to believe the Olympic snub was enough to blow up the relationship with Yzerman. I love Marty but it doesn’t seem he handled this all that well. To his credit, Yzerman did what he thought was right for Team Canada and then honored St. Louis’ demand to be traded. He said the right things afterwards as well. Like a messy divorce I’m sure there is more to the story but sad day for Tampa.

  5. 950003cups - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Martin St Louis would be a complete douche bag if the reason, which many are saying is true, was because Steve Yzerman originally passed him over for Team Canada. That would be putting his own personal ego above the team. He’ll fit well in NYC.

    • tuberippin - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      From a Devils fan. Ironic considering how much Brodeur had been pushing for a trade after being the face of the franchise for much longer than St. Louis had been for the Lightning.

      • 950003cups - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        Very different situations. Brodeur is no longer needed in NJ. He’s been talking about leaving all season if he were relegated to a back up role. Brodeur also had a full blown serenading from the fans last night JUST IN CASE it was his last game. But since you have no idea what your talking about, I’ll just educate you.

      • tuberippin - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:26 PM

        “Not needed” was a situation that was created by your own general manager. Lou traded for Schneider. He got a steal, but he also created this situation. If Schneider was not there, this notion of “not needed” would not be there either.

        The other part of that is Brodeur’s ego. He’s one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, but he’s in his 40s and his stats are understandably trending downward.

        Egos are involved in both instances. Brodeur is insulted that he has to be a backup after all he did for the Devils (how he’s being treated by the organization), just as St. Louis was insulted by how Yzerman went about treating the face of their franchise.

        So how exactly is St. Louis a “douchebag” for pushing for a trade when he felt he was disrespected by the organization, when Brodeur did the exact same thing?

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Many are also saying there’s more to it than that. It will probably be a while before we find out everything.

    • cofran2004 - Mar 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      This is in response to your second post in this specific conversation…

      “Yeah! It’s totally different because I’m a fan of the player you’re comparing him to! Never mind the fact that both are situations of a guy’s feeling being hurt, and both wanted out of their long time team! The situations are NOTHING alike!”

      That’s what you sound like. Good job being objective.

  6. themagicfanguy - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    I hate this.

    • cofran2004 - Mar 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

      If you’re a lightning fan, us rangers fans can relate. I don’t think any of us really wanted to see this happen…

  7. nicofthenorthstar - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    Mar 5, 2014, 5:21 PM CST
    This guy should be banned from hockey! What a disgrace! Glad Tampa fleeced the rangers in the deal.

    You lose.

  8. michael91148 - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Good that the Lightning got rid of the cancer that was spreading through the team
    When the captain of the team thinks more of himself than the mates that he pretends to support, it is time for him to go.
    The Lightning ( Steve Yzerman ) have pulled off a GREAT trade ! They gave up an aging one trick pony ( scoring ) and have got 2 wonderful draft picks and an accomplished 2-way player. This is how you build hockey teams.

    • 950003cups - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      LOL “an aging one trick pony ( scoring )”

      Enlighten us, what other tricks do teams prefer?

      You win games by scoring. It’s up to your goaltender and defense too see that it holds up.

      • stixzidinia - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        Newsflash: it’s a forward’s responsibility to play a defensively sound game too. Ever wonder why Ovechkin leads the league in goals by a country mile and yet is one of the 5-10 worst guys in the league in +/-? Ever wonder why the Caps can’t get over the hump? That’s a big reason why.

    • jovocop2112 - Mar 6, 2014 at 12:59 AM

      Considering they will be bottom 10 picks, I am not overwhelmed by the value there. And considering Callahan more than likely will not resign, I am not overjoyed to be getting his services for 2 months. Everyone except Marty got screwed because of the situation. If Marty was a locker-room cancer, then good riddance but it still hurts more than any trade I have seen since becoming a hockey fan

      • cofran2004 - Mar 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        Exactly how we rangers fans feel. I’ve watched Cally develope since he was in the AHL. It’s painful to see him switch jerseys because he overvalued himself.

  9. banger60 - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    It’s over, move on GO RANGERS!!!!!

  10. laxnhockey - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Marty has nothing to apologize for. He brought a Stanley Cup to Tampa Bay, a struggling franchise that he put on his shoulders and brought them a championship. It’s a business and we can’t pick and choose to turn that aspect on or off.

    Apparently it got to the point where the employee felt his boss didn’t have the confidence in him that he thought he should have. Instead of casting aspersions at St. Louis now, keep in mind Yzerman snubbed him back in 2010 as well.

    I’m reminded of the old saying; fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. This is on Yzerman for the foolish decision to pass over St. Louis for Sochi. Think about it; Stamkos can’t go so the next guy is St. Louis? Yzerman knew he screwed up and now he has to live with the consequences.

    • rbbbaron - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      “This is on Yzerman for the foolish decision to pass over St. Louis…”
      Lol, yeah you’re right. Yzerman should’ve been a political hack.

      • laxnhockey - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:17 PM

        It’s not being a political hack to select one of the best players in the NHL. It was a foolish decision to pass over one of the best, particularly when you consider he chose him in the end anyway. Don’t get your panties in a knot, Yzerman will figure it out eventually.

      • bucrightoff - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

        Yzerman has not one but two gold medals, he selected the greatest Olympic hockey team ever, and maybe the best Team Canada ever period. I’d say he knows, and is pretty damn good, at what he’s doing

      • rbbbaron - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        “I’d say [Steve F#&king Yzerman] knows, and is pretty damn good, at what he’s doing”

        Naw, I’d say laxnhockey knows better

    • pastabelly - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:21 PM

      None of his 2013-2014 teammates were on the Cup winning team. He does have to apologize the 2013-14 team for some pretty selfish behavior. He can start with Stamkos and work his way down. Yzerman did nothing wrong and he is the one who owes no apology for putting together a gold medal team in 2014.

    • stixzidinia - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      Yeah Yzerman really screwed by putting together a couple of Gold medal winning teams. LOL

  11. jb8588 - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Only doing this to make himself look better in the public eye, and the suckers will fall for it. Marty, what did was pure selfishness and the way you did it was a total disgrace. You backstabbed the same franchise that gave you an opportunity when nobody else would…when you were a nobody in the eyes of NHL fans. Additionally, the fact that you couldn’t keep an international tournament away from the quest of leading a team to the Stanley Cup shows your lack of total leadership. I have always questioned Ovechkin being the Caps’ captain, but at least the guy is committed to the cause. It’s a total shame that Marty turned his back on his teammates during the playoff chase…but it shows who he REALLY is.

    • mp1131211 - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Wow. This is sad.

  12. stixzidinia - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    WAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! WWWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! I didn’t get picked for the Olympics!! WWWAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! They won gold without me!! WWWAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

    That’s all this amounts to. That’s why he doesn’t want to discuss it. Selfish. Spoiled.

  13. phxyotes - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Looks like St. Louis never got over being snubbed by his own GM. If he wanted another cup he should have stayed with Tampa, they’re far closer than the Rangers at this point.

  14. mp1131211 - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Y’all should get over it.

  15. eagles512 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    We don’t know all the facts but if he did indeed bail on his team because he wasn’t picked for team canada, then he’s a fraud.

  16. hockeyflow33 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    I’m curious why people think they know why he left because a few media hacks have floated out a rumor that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    You’re talking about a small guy who has spent his career dealing with people who didn’t believe him, I have a hard time imagining this was the sole reason he wanted out.

  17. bbk1000 - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:24 AM

    He’s apologizing to the wrong fans…..

  18. laxnhockey - Mar 6, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    Marty has nothing to apologize for. How many other guys can say they brought their team to the pinnacle of winning the Stanley Cup. The rest of this is just noise.

  19. bigpetemiller - Mar 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Long time Ranger fan and Captain Cally supporter here. The obvious answer here as some have touched on is that Ryan listened to the wrong people on his value to the organization. He’s not a 7 mil player. I value him at about or below a Girardi. Girardi got 5.5 for 6 years and Ryan felt that kind of money didn’t fit his vision of himself, guess that pissed the brass off. Can’t blame them too too much for having their own opinion.

    The Rangers had to get something for him and packaging a couple of draft picks along with Ryan to get the top point producer over the last 5 years was an absolute steal. Ryan was not going to be Ranger next year so the value is all on the Rangers side here. No telling how the picks will pan out.

    Oh, and Mr Yzerman; how do you not pick the best offensive player in the NHL over the last 5 years for your team. Especially, especially when he plays for you?

    Guess Stevie made his own grave there. Don’t be upset with Marty. He took the same stance anyone of us would do as well given his undeniable talent. Don’t argue it as we all are allowed to have our own opinion.

    • stixzidinia - Mar 6, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Best offensive player over the last 5 years? That’s a stretch, to say the very least. The only reason he got an Art Ross last year was because Crosby took a puck to the face.

      • bigpetemiller - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        Read the statistics. Most points over the last 5 years out of ANY NHLer. This includes Sir Crosby and Mr. Ovechkin as well as the rest of the NHL. Please know your facts before you comment in the future.

      • laxnhockey - Mar 6, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        Don’t feed the trolls.

        Canada was lucky to win the Gold medal in 2010 and in 2014. A bounce of the puck in 2010 and Sydney is crying like some of you about St. Louis on this trade. Lucky again this year in the preliminary round against the Latvia and again later against the US, where another bounce of the puck sends them home.

        Yzerman should have known better than to treat a future Hall of Famer with such disrespect, and now he’ll have to live with the consequences.

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