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Bolts owner tried to convince St. Louis to stay — twice

Mar 7, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

Jeff Vinik AP

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik spoke twice with ex-captain Martin St. Louis — prior to Wednesday’s blockbuster deal to the Rangers — about rescinding his trade demand and staying in Tampa Bay, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Here’s more:

Despite holding two sit-down discussions with St. Louis to let him know how much he meant to the organization and community, Vinik was one of many who were unable to talk St. Louis out of requesting a move to the Rangers. The trade happened Wednesday and landed RW Ryan Callahan, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional second-round pick in 2014 that turns into a first-round pick if the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference finals this season.

“We would’ve loved to have seen Marty finish his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning sweater on,’’ Vinik said. “I was very direct in telling him that my dream is that you finish your career here and you lead us to another Stanley Cup.

“But I understand Marty’s reasons. It played out the way it did and we wish him well. He’s been a great player for this organization, is arguably the best player we’ve had in our history, and I hope things go great for him and his family in New York.’’

Vinik also confirmed New York was the lone team St. Louis was willing to accept a trade to, and that the Lightning have received calls from irate season ticket-holders displeased that St. Louis was dealt.

That said, the Tribune noted Thursday was “the best day to date in terms of adding renewals for season tickets since notices went out last month.”

  1. ibieiniid - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    for whatever reason, i didn’t really follow this whole pre-trade saga. so can somebody inform me of what St.Louis’ connection to NYC is? just a team he wanted to play for or is there some other reason that’s where he wanted to go?

    • joey4id - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      His primary residence is in Greenwich, CT, which is 45 minute away from MSG, and I believe his wife is from NY.

      PS Please don’t thrash on me again. ;-)

    • joey4id - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      “The family maintains an off-season home in Heather’s hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut. St. Louis runs an annual summer hockey camp in the nearby community of Stamford for young players in the region.”

  2. jpelle82 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    i really wish we knew what really happened and what was said leading up to st louis wanting out. that letter he sent out saying thanks to the fans was so weird, he said there was a reason but he didnt want to talk about it. if he didnt want to talk about it why put that in the message anyway, only to not really say anything?

    • biasedhomer - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      Wasn’t it because of the Olympic snub?

      • jpelle82 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        dont know if he actually said that or not, i think thats what everyone is assuming but if thats the case then it makes st louis seem pretty unprofessional – i’m failing to grasp why his first responsibility to the lightning was all of a sudden affected by an olympic snub. i get it that his gm was part of team canada but it has nothing to do with where the lightning were going or what their plan is. i think he and yzerman mustve had heated conversation and it became personal….which makes me think less of st louis. seems like he kinda threw a hissy fit like he couldnt go on with life if yzerman is his boss. i hope its not that but thats what i’m gathering from all of it

  3. drewsylvania - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    If I’m Yzerman, I refuse to trade St. Louis regardless of how much he hated being there. The goal is to win. You don’t trade someone you need for your playoff run without getting something of equal or better value than that back. They got future value instead, and probably deep-sixed this year’s Cup hopes. St. Louis wasn’t going to go AWOL on the team. You keep him, and let him walk at the end of the season. Sure, if you do that you don’t get those high draft picks. But if your team is already good NOW, you keep the players that will help you win NOW.

    • jb8588 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Hey you never know…Bolts did end up getting the Rangers ’15 first rounder out of it, which gives the Bolts technically two cracks at possibly drafting Connor McDavid now. Obviously the Rangers have a good roster on paper, but we all know how unpredictable they can be. As a Bolts fan, here’s hoping for some key injuries to the Rangers next season, a lousy season to go along with it and using the Rangers’ #1 pick to get McDavid. Now THAT would be bitter sweet.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Yeah–there’s plenty to like about the trade for the Bolts. Just not for this season. As a Bruins fan, I’m certainly not going to enjoy their having to play against the talent that TB will be drafting soon.

      • rbbbaron - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Sure Yzerman didn’t necessarily have to move St. Louis– and then take on the risk that St. Louis retires at the end of the season, in which case Yzerman and the TB organization would come out of this fiasco with nothing other than this April’s cup run (which there’s a good chance that they’ll have a crack at anyways).

    • joey4id - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      Your solution would have caused and very toxic atmosphere around the team. Everyone around the team with have been affected because the Captan and face of the franchise let it be known that he is unhappy and wants to be traded. You don’t make a run in the playoffs with an unhealthy team. The team unity and psychological make up of the team is as much the responsibility of the coach as it is the captan’s and his alternates.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        How do you know this would have happened? Sure, it’s the team’s responsibility to handle adversity, but it’s also the players’. Maybe Yzerman agreed with you. Who knows. But in not getting back talent that would help the current Cup run, Yzerman *guaranteed* that the team’s Cup hopes took a huge hit.

        To put it another way, do we seriously think that the entire Bolts team would stop being so hungry for a Cup if Yzerman had kept St. Louis?

      • angrytwitterguy - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Drew, you are not required to reply to any of the weirdos posts. Feel free to ignore them

    • hockey412 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Ok, Gillis…let us know how that works out for Kesler.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        The difference is that Vancouver appears to be a hell of a lot more dysfunctional than Tampa. Plus, Vancouver’s playoff hopes are a lot slimmer than TB’s. They were nosediving already. In fact, the Luongo deal says that they were punting the season anyway. So, Kesler’s value to the Canucks–for this season– was a lot less than St. Louis’ value to TB for this season. The Canucks’ Cup chances were already heading into the dumpster.

        If TB had been in total nosedive, and hovering around .500 while 7-8 points out of a wild-card spot, I’d have said that trading St. Louis for picks was probably a good idea. But they weren’t and aren’t.

    • 19to77 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      On the other hand, he could have been toxic in the locker room for a team on a playoff run. If a player is pissed enough to demand a trade from the team he leads and then doesn’t get traded, I imagine he’d probably be more of a burden to team morale than a benefit. I can’t believe I’m saying this about Marty St. Louis of all players, but Yzerman may have dealt him now because his attitude would have hurt the team otherwise.

  4. jb8588 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    All I know is Marty won’t be forgiven by the Bolts faitful for quite a long time and rightfully so. I will never understand why such a request couldn’t wait until the offseason, especially given the fact that the Bolts are in a playoff position, had Stammer coming back and have a Vezina worthy goaltender in net. If the Bolts were playing like the Isles or Sabres I would understand a bit more, but obviously that wasn’t the case. The guy is a total sell out.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      He was getting paid regardless of who pays him this year. He wanted to be close to home. That’s a far cry from “selling out”.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      The fans should instead be hating on Yzerman for letting him go. Marty’s allowed to want what he wants. It’s kind of a dick move to ask for a trade when the team needs you, but Yzerman wasn’t forced to trade him.

      • jb8588 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        Drew, so if your team was in a solid playoff spot (especially in the wide open east) and suddenly your captain says he randomly wants out and turns his back on the rest of his teammates like that…you wouldn’t consider him a sellout? If Luongo wanted out of Vancouver, anybody can understand that based on all of the drama going on up there. But there has been none of that in TB, especially towards Marty. Yzerman wouldn’t of thought of this move for one second if Marty wasn’t behind it all. Yzerman had to do what was best for the team…which IMO is to trade somebody who didn’t want to be there and give the captaincy to somebody who at least deserves to wear it like Stammer.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        “Sellout” usually refers to going for the money….

  5. LampyB - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    St Louis didnt hate tampa. The concept is very simple, his family lives in CT and he saw an opportunity to be with them. Whats so difficult to understand here?

    • joey4id - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      Are you certain his family was living in TB? Never heard that one before. It was reported that he would go back to CT during the off season, and he was planning on making that his retirement home.

    • 19to77 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      The fact that he didn’t “see an opportunity” the last time he was up for free agency, or wait until the end of his current contract. The fact that players rarely up and demand to move for the sake of being a few hours closer to home after playing contentedly for over a decade in the place they’re demanding to leave. This isn’t about him hating Tampa, I agree with you there. It’s a personal grudge against Yzerman over the Olympic snub.

  6. enzod91 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    it really is interesting to speculate on what caused St. Louis to want out RIGHT NOW…it’s been said it was the Olympic snub but people have said he requested a trade before then…there has to be some serious issue with Yzerman. Either that or Marty is just whipped by his wife haha

    • cyggyx1 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      “But Yzerman conceded Wednesday that he had talked with St. Louis multiple times about his future, implying that the winger’s desire to leave hadn’t started with the Olympic team choices.” USA Today

      Consider it possible the olympic snub was due to the trade request? Having said that, Yzerman new full well the consequences of his olympic decision. You dont leave off a guy that deserved to be there AND you’re also trying to get to stay. Marty did sieze the catch 22 situation Yzerman was in. Fans are idiots to begrudge a man for not wanting to work for someone he no longer got along with and so, found a new job. Who hasn’t done that? ;)

      • moarjam - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        Exactly!

        Can we now stop with the Canada snub being the reason?

        Maybe it was the last straw but by Yzerman’s own admission, Marty has wanted out for a while. For what reason we don’t know. It would seem to be family oriented. Only Marty knows and for some reason he doesn’t feel like sharing his private matters with the world…

  7. drewsylvania - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Never let facts or logic stand in the way of a good downthumb.

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