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‘Nothing better than playoffs in a big market,’ says Martin St. Louis

Apr 10, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT

Go ahead and accuse me of reading too much into a quote, but I found this one from Martin St. Louis (courtesy NHL.com’s Tal Pinchevsky) rather interesting…

Ever since St. Louis demanded and got his trade out of Tampa Bay, the conversation about playoff opportunity has been prevalent. He left a Bolts team to join very similar a Rangers team, at least in terms of standings — Tampa has 95 points to New York’s 93, both are going to finish either second or third in their respective divisions, and both are within striking distance of the 45-win plateau (the Rangers need one more, the Lightning two.)

Prior to the Ben Bishop injury, you’d be hard pressed to say the Rangers were an overwhelming Cup contender compared to Tampa Bay…which could lead you to speculate that, just maybe (and for lack of a better explanation), St. Louis thought it’d be cooler to win a Cup in New York than win another one in Tampa Bay.

Since neither St. Louis nor the Lightning would divulge reasons as to why he wanted out — the rift with GM Steve Yzerman over the Canadian Olympic snub was the prevailing thought, but never confirmed — many were left to speculate. Sure, St. Louis referenced the desire to play closer to his home base in Connecticut (“I always felt as my kids got older, I would try to come here,” he said). But after 13 seasons in Tampa, he could’ve waited until the offseason to demand a trade if that was the case — what would’ve a few extra months been?

Well, they might’ve been a lot for someone that had been thinking about leaving for quite some time.

Per the Tampa Bay Times:

St. Louis said he considered leaving years ago, especially after then-owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie traded defenseman Dan Boyle in July 2008.

“But I’ll be honest with you,” St. Louis said. “(Steven Stamkos) comes along (in the 2008-09 season) and it’s a lot of fun playing with Stammer. There were things pulling me in, but every year the equation changes. There are moving parts. You assess.”

The most recent assessment:

“One of my biggest things, honestly, is I never see my kids play hockey,” St. Louis said. “Just, for instance, my oldest has gone, since September, to Detroit three times, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Rochester, Atlanta. You’ve got to go outside the state to play pretty good competition. My wife and dad flies with him. I’m not saying Florida hockey is no good, but if you want to play against good competition you have to go outside.”

There are more opportunities in the Northeast, St. Louis said.

“It’s easier,” he said. “With the things between me and Steve [Yzerman] and you put in my kids, this was the best thing for everybody.”

A legit explanation. But hard to imagine Lightning fans agree with the last part.

  1. patthehockeyfan - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Nope, Halford. You did not read too much into the quote. I clicked on the story because of the headline, thinking, no, it can’t be. Marty isn’t screwing with karma again, is he? Especially after that horrendous start with the Rangers.

    Some people just don’t learn that there are hockey gods with a score tablet. With this quote from St. Louis, he now has two checks “against,” and one “for.” Get ready for him to tank. Again.

    • lilmoose3239 - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      It’ll be glorious if Tampa eliminates NY from the playoffs.

      • billiam55 - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        ………why? bc st. louis is on the rangers? u and the rest of the tampa bay fans r real immature. geez. get over it! st louis left. he wasnt happy playing there. what more do u want? his family dead? and that wouldnt even happen since u and the rangers r in different divsions. good luck getting through boston first.

      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        billiam55 – I’m not a Tampa Bay fan. I’m not a Rangers’ fan, either.

        Marty got sympathy from the hockey world when he wasn’t initially chosen for Canada’s Olympic Team. That was a “for” in his favor. His play improved, and he eventually was asked to be on the Olympic Team.

        His first “against” came when he demanded to be traded from Tampa Bay. That was his right; however, he didn’t handle it well. His parting tweet or email or whatever to fans solidified that he was being petulant. As I said, one “against.”

        His play with the Rangers sucked. The “against” then canceled out the “for.” At this point, he’s even. He even scored a goal after admitting to the press that he hadn’t played that badly ever in his career.

        Now, he makes a smart-ass remark about being in a big market – an obvious slap at Tampa Bay. He’s in the “against” column again.

        I think that’s what lilmoose3239 meant by his remark. Tampa knocking out NY from the playoffs.

        To use another example, Roberto Luongo stopped tweeting for a while. When he resumed, his first tweet was a not-so-funny remark directed at Vancouver. What happened to Luongo? Out now with an upper body injury.

        One cannot eff with karma. It’s always out there ready to return.

      • storminator16 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        Glorious indeed.

    • c9castine - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      when did st. louis tank before?

  2. convincedofthehex - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Lady Byng is a one way player now. Enjoy his turnovers in the playoffs New York.

    • titansrbeast - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      Man, I went from liking St. Louis a whole lot, like one of my favorite players in the league…to absolutely hating him and hoping for nothing more than the annihilation of the Rangers. This guy doesn’t deserve to a win a thing. I hope Tampa goes far and makes him feel real smart about his move. Hopefully he doesn’t even have time to get a playoff goal, but I’m sure that will happen somehow.

      • billiam55 - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        well from a NYR fan thats kinda unfair to hate my team bc ur captain is on there. sheesh. i hope u get pooped on by montreal

      • titansrbeast - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:26 PM

        Umm yeah considering I’m a Sharks fan, that REALLY got to me. I don’t like the guy because Tampa has a solid shot at going deep in the playoffs if Bishop gets healthy. To leave them this year was just a mind blower to me. I don’t “hate” your team either, I just don’t like them in general as Philly is my 2nd team. Now that St. Louis became a clown I dislike them even more.

      • dropthepuckeh - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        titansrbs – So you are Sharks fan but Philly is your 2nd team? Sounds to me like you don’t have a team at all…

      • titansrbeast - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:35 PM

        Alright, they’re not my “2nd” team, I just like them because I have family who likes the Flyers…I love the sharks, so Gtfo troll.

      • titansrbeast - Apr 12, 2014 at 12:54 AM

        And btw dropthepuck, pretty sure I was in Wells Fargo Center this season screaming for the Sharks when they won 7-3… in case you don’t know that would be the Flyers arena.

  3. muttbolts91 - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Marty St. Baby says wwwwwaaaaahhhhh. Get him his bottle quick.

    • moarjam - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:49 PM

      You might be singing a different tune when you have a family.

      So many of you have absolutely zero real life perspective. You may not like what he did but he’s a grownass man with a family that he has to make decisions for.

      Stop being petty and show some respect for the best player to ever wear your sweater. Who the hell knows where the bolts franchise is today without this guy.

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    I can understand St. Louis wanting to be close to home, but the future of the Lightning just seems brighter to me. That’s not to say the Rangers aren’t a good team with solid young players, but Tampa is clearly on the rise. I mean Stamkos is still in his early 20s, Bishop is relatively young, Palat, Johnson, Hedman, Kucherov, Gudas, Killorn, Sustr, the list goes on and on. That club is gonna be dangerous for a long while. Plus I like Yzerman over Sather. Maybe he wanted to be on more of a “win now” team with a veteran roster, but it’s not like the Lightning aren’t dangerous this year. Weird scenario.

    • stakex - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      St Louis is 38…. of course he wants a “win now” team. He doesn’t have five seasons for Tampa’s young players to maybe click.

      Granted I would argue the Rangers future is just as bright as Tampa’s. Kreider(22), Stepan(23), J Moore(23), McDonagh(24), Hagelin(25), Zuccarello(26), Staal(27), Nash(29), and Girardi(29) are all going to be around for some time to come. In fact, the Rangers only have four guys over 30 on their roster… St. Louis(38), Richards/D Moore(33), Lundqvist(32), so their future isn’t much of a concern.

      I’d also argue that Tampa Bays situation is net is still questionable in the years to come. Bishop had a great season, and is largely responsible for Tampa’s rise this year, but one season doesn’t make a career. In fact, before this year the 27 year old Bishop had only played 45 NHL games…. and his numbers weren’t stellar. Perhaps this is his breakout year, or perhaps its his career year. Only time will tell, but if you’re looking to win a Cup in the near future I’m not sure I would pick him to do it.

      I do agree about Sather though.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        But the point is that even currently you could argue that Tampa is a better team AND they’re much younger, so if Marty plays a few more seasons he could’ve been on a team on the upswing. While New York does have upside it’s not nearly as great as Tampa’s. The lightning also have key vets like Teddy Purcell, Callahan, Filppula, Carle, Salo, Brewer, etc. They have better young talent yet still a quality mix of veterans.

        As for Bishop, most #1 goalies don’t reach their ceilings til 25-27. Lundqvist was an exception. But I think Bishop has proven the last two seasons that he’s a legitimate goalie. He’s not as good as Lundqvist but he’s still younger. The Rangers are a good team, but I believe Tampa is better now and has a higher ceiling.

      • dropthepuckeh - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        Bishop is better than Lundqvist.

    • henrik4dawin - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      St. Louis is not making decisions that will get him a cup in 3-4 years– he wants one now and he wants one in NY, the quality of the future is irrelevant in the st. louis equation

  5. muttbolts91 - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Marty is no captain, captains don’t act like that.

  6. alicesrightfootesq - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    This guy doesn’t even want his number retired in Tampa, apparently. Hope they give 26 to Drouin next year.

  7. muckleflugga - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    i like tampa … a beautiful clean city … water sport and spring baseball and great restaurants and a generally laid-back air … idyllic

    still, if i had a chance to play in new york city while blessed with personal holdings on the scale of most nhl players, i’m all over it … the fans are hockey-mad and among the best in sport in a city spoiled with greats in sport

    if not the most exciting city in the world it’s in a dead heat with hong kong or london or los angeles or paris or shanghai … what an opportunity at the closing of a career

    i once saw an interview with st. louis involving he and his kids … brilliant …

    how can anyone damn a man for wanting the best for his children or wanting greater access to their lives while in an occupation with travel demands as suffered by players in the nhl … you wake up one day, rich but yearning for all those moments in your children’s development you had to miss … time unretrievable

    it’s too easy as fans to presume right to judge players in any sport when those players dare to claim right to a tiny smidgen of self determination … at once pretentious and selfish

    good on you marty … you’re all class

    • blomfeld - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      “it’s in a dead heat with hong kong or london or los angeles or paris or shanghai” …

      Well said Flugga as always … and I concur with your list of the world’s most ‘exciting’ cities. Having once called London and LA ‘home’ for me and having met the love of my life in Hong Kong (ie: a beautiful Cathay Pacific stewardess named Zaina) about the only towns I would care to add to your list are probably Berlin, Kuala Lumpur and Gothenburg. As for this business of ‘self’ determination and the universal right to pursue one’s own dreams and aspirations at the possible expense of a ‘demanding & unsympathetic’ flock or following ? … well I have 4 simple words in answer to that !

      ICH BIN EIN BERLINER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  8. flyerspsu - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    You would think a team he spent his entire career with and won a cup with he’d be a lot more grateful for

    • rainyday56 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:16 AM

      Entire career?:

      1998–99 Calgary Flames NHL 13 1 1 2 10 — — — — —
      1998–99 Saint John Flames AHL 53 28 34 62 30 7 4 4 8 2
      1999–00 Saint John Flames AHL 17 15 11 26 14 — — — — —
      1999–00 Calgary Flames NHL 56 3 15 18 22 — — — — —
      2000–01 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 78 18 22 40 12 — — — — —
      2001–02 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 53 16 19 35 20 — — — — —
      2002–03 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 33 37 70 32 11 7 5 12 0
      2003–04 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 38 56 94 24 23 9 15 24 14
      2004–05 HC Lausanne NLA 23 9 16 25 16 — — — — —
      2005–06 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 80 31 30 61 38 5 4 0 4 2
      2006–07 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 43 59 102 28 6 3 5 8 8
      2007–08 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 25 58 83 26 — — — — —
      2008–09 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 30 50 80 14 — — — — —
      2009–10 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 29 65 94 12 — — — — —
      2010–11 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 31 68 99 12 18 10 10 20 4
      2011–12 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 77 25 49 74 16 — — — — —
      2012–13 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 48 17 43 60 14 — — — — —
      2013–14 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 62 29 32 61 6 — — — — —
      NHL totals 1041 369 604 973 286 63 33 35 68 28

  9. swenny19 - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Yahta yahta yahta. Can we get back to pens and flyers talk now?

  10. billiam55 - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    HATERS GONNA HATE.

  11. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    That’s basically at the franchise in which he won a Stanley Cup with in 2004. Nothing but a crybaby is St. Louis.

  12. bricktop02 - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Now you get to lace up your big boy skates Marty.

  13. muckleflugga - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    martin st. louis played in calgary but was found wanting as a defensive player in the opinion of the day … flames had opportunity to rue their decision to move him many times since … even as brett hull’s move for the same reasons was rued

    both st. louis and hull like to speak their minds … their truths are refreshing in a world of canned and artificial commentary … as players they understand notions of loyalty

    an artificial perception about notions of loyalty prevails among fans …

    in a league where players are treated like a marketable commodity and treated like so much meat by team owners and management, players are somehow expected to be bound by some credo of loyalty to those owners and teams …

    or to fans who turn on them in a blink during an off night or a bad run of games or when requesting a move … while not understanding loyalty is a two-way entity borne on notions of respect …

    owners and teams and fans rarely deliver on loyalty so why are players bound to the same notion in response … it’s another nhl myth swallowed whole by the naïve

    some organizations thrive on loyalty and respect and the players behave accordingly in response to owners, teams and fans … the detroit red wings jump off the page in this regard, others inversely so

    wayne gretzky helped build an empire in edmonton but was sold even as a slave would have been sold … so much for loyalty to wayne … gretzky, long since under-paid, changed his approach to contract negotiation and loyalty to succeeding teams accordingly

    marty st. louis lives and works in a country who chief constitutional theme is freedom … tell me how he as a hockey player yields his right to the same freedoms, either in his wish to work where he pleases or speak about joy in his move

    next time you have need of the bog, unravel the bog roll then apply suitably … the product flushes exactly as notions of loyalty from owners and teams and fans flushes

    • stixzidinia - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      It’s clear you have absolutely no understanding whatsoever of what actually happened with the Gretzky trade from Edmonton. Either you are too young to have been watching hockey at that time or flat out just have no idea what you’re talking about.

      1) Sather tried repeatedly to extend Gretzky with a new deal before his contract expired. Gretzky declined and wanted to play out his contract and make his decision afterward. This comes from the mouth of both Gretzky and Sather on the record.

      2) Rather than chance losing Gretzky for nothing and letting him walk, Sather began discussing with Gretzky the idea of trading him so the Oilers could get assets in return. Gretzky was informed of the process and involved from the get go. Again, from both of their mouths on the record.

      3) Literally, right up until the deal was done Sather gave Gretzky the power to say no and veto the trade. THAT is loyalty. Again, this on the record from the mouths of all involved.

      4) All these statements can be be seen on the Ultimate Gretzky dvd, which is probably up on youtube by now.

      “Sold like a slave”? That’s hilarious.

      And yes, St. Louis could have waited a couple of months until the end of the season to demand his trade. His family life would not have suffered. And yes, I have a family of my own so I can speak from that perspective. His was just butthurt because he wasn’t Yzerman’s top choice for Canada’s primary squad. Plain and simple. And that’s all it was. All these athletes pull the family card when they get selfish and PR isn’t going their way. There’s a right way to do things and a wrong way. Marty did it the wrong way.

      • blomfeld - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        And the Academy Award goes to …

        sorry Flugga but Stix is correct … Gretzky ‘wanted’ to go to LA as per instructed by his new lover, a pair of breasts called Janet … the ‘fake’ crying at his press conference was utterly ‘pathetic’ and truly one of the worst acting performances ever by anyone …

  14. muttbolts91 - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Coddle your baby NY. Hope Sather doesn’t hurt his wittle feelwings

  15. slaugin - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    My brain automatically thinks St. Lewis every time I read an article on MSL. Just though I’d share

  16. chunkala - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    I hate the Rangers but seriously where does he want to live NY or TB? NY, easily. He’ll take some occasional vacation time in TB.

    • nj666 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      as someone who works in NY, its nothing special…

  17. deeman4410 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Nothing better than watching the second round of the playoffs in a big market

  18. muttbolts91 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    He wouldn’t be here without the bolts. That argument holds no water

  19. pastabelly - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    If he had said that there is nothing like being in the playoffs on an Original Six team, nobody would have given it a second thought. While hockey has done well in Tampa, St Louis really didn’t go out on a limb with that statement. While his exit from Tampa was poorly executed on his part, this statement is no big deal.

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