Glen Sather tried. But Steve Yzerman said no way.
The proposed Ryan Callahan for Martin St. Louis swap was rejected, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post over the weekend, but that hasn't stopped the speculation about the future of the Tampa Bay Lightning captain.
After Newsday's Arthur Staple reported hearing it on Wednesday, Bob McKenzie appeared on TSN Radio and reported that St. Louis had requested a trade and that the only destination he'd waive his no-movement clause to would be the New York Rangers. St. Louis has an off-season home in nearby Greenwich, Connecticut.
When asked about it after the Lightning's practice on Wednesday, St. Louis didn't take the opportunity to squash the rumors, simply saying, “I’ve had talks with Steve about my future with the team and I’ll leave it at that." Yzerman didn't stop the rumor avalanche either saying he wasn't going to comment.
Obviously displeased that he was initially passed over for Team Canada by his own general manager, St. Louis' anger hasn't dissipated even after being named an injury replacement for teammate Steven Stamkos and then winning a gold medal. He's a prideful guy. He was disrespected and overlooked for years before establishing himself as one the league's top players once he arrived in Tampa Bay, later winning two scoring titles and the 2004 Hart Trophy.
But feelings can be mended over time, and that's exactly what Yzerman has. St. Louis still has a year left on his contract and he took his anger out at being passed over for Team Canada by scoring eight goals and recording 16 points between the time the roster was initially named and his addition once Stamkos ruled himself out.
Tampa's currently sitting pretty in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. If St. Louis is wearing a Lightning jersey come March 6, it isn't like he's going to suddenly start playing like a moody Randy Moss and taking shifts off. That's not his style.
McKenzie noted that this soap opera may not come to a resolution by next week's NHL trade deadline and that it may carry over into the summer, unless both sides kiss and make up by then.
Yzerman's certainly in a tough spot, with one of his two franchise players unhappy, but he should be in no rush to appease his captain. Selecting the Team Canada roster is no easy task for anyone. And with or without St. Louis in Sochi, that team was winning a gold medal. Heck, look how dominant they were and they didn't even need Stamkos's offense.
The best interests of the franchise are what Yzerman has to look out for. In this case, if he's going to deal his team captain and leading scorer, he should be holding out for a king's ransom.
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