Bruins: Martin St. Louis

Bolts GM: St. Louis not going anywhere

March, 29, 2013
Let’s put those Martin St. Louis trade rumors to bed.

For whatever reason, the star winger’s name has been bandied about in media speculation ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline, most recently as a possible fit for Boston, but it won't happen.

At least not according to the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Marty St. Louis is not going to be traded," Steve Yzerman told on Friday. "He remains one of the best players in the league and an extremely important player to our team, both on and off the ice. We are a team in transition, we just made a coaching change, Marty is one of the leaders of the team, he is not going anywhere."

From the beginning, the St. Louis trade rumors never made a whole lot of sense. He has two more years on his deal, so it’s not like he’s a pending unrestricted free agent who would top the rental market like Jarome Iginla did before being moved this week.

Yes, St. Louis is 37 years old, and perhaps people wondered whether he’d want to go elsewhere to win a Cup with Tampa struggling. But St. Louis matters so much more to the Tampa organization than just what he does on the ice, which on its own remains impressive enough. He’s still an all-world player. But that’s just half the story in terms of his value to the Lightning.

At a morning skate last month at Madison Square Garden, I was sitting beside Yzerman in the stands, watching his team practice.

One by one the players left the ice at the end of the skate, leaving only St. Louis and superstar Steven Stamkos on the ice -- the pair sticking around longer to take more shots on goal.

Which prompted Yzerman to talk about how much it means when your stars also are among the hardest-working guys on your team, leading by example with their work ethic.

So when the St. Louis trade rumors began recently, I thought back to that moment and felt there was no way Yzerman could even think that way.

St. Louis has a full no-move clause, but that’s not even the point. The GM needs his veteran star around to continue to be a model for his group.

Would he be a fit in Boston? Well, yeah. He’d be a fit on about almost any team in the league, aside from perhaps Pittsburgh, where the Penguins have run out of locker room stalls.

However, I will repeat one of my famous "no-trade" anecdotes, when one year I quoted then-Calgary GM Darryl Sutter as saying he wasn’t trading Dion Phaneuf, only to see him traded to Toronto about three weeks later.

But in this case, I’m taking Yzerman at his word.

Video: Former teammates, now rivals

May, 13, 2011
BOSTON -- Like they did with Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, people always doubted that Tampa Bay Lightning’s Martin St. Louis could play at the NHL level.

Thomas’ style was too chaotic and St. Louis was too small for professional hockey.

The two were teammates at the University of Vermont for four seasons, beginning in 1993. Now they’re playing against each other in the Eastern Conference finals.

“Early on our careers kind of just got labeled as people that would never be able to do it at the NHL level because of those two things,” explained Thomas. “We both had to battle to get to the NHL. We took long roads to get there.”

St. Louis reached the NHL sooner than Thomas. St. Louis began his NHL career with the Lightning during the 2000-2001 season and he’s never looked back. He’s even won a Stanley Cup with Tampa in 2003-2004.

Now, Thomas will be attempting to stop one of the league’s prolific goal scorers.

“We’re both very competitive and we leave everything on the ice,” Thomas said. “I know it’s not going to be easy playing Marty St. Louis, so I have to be ready for that.”

The Lightning arrived in Boston Friday afternoon and held practice at TD Garden in preparation for Game 1 of this series on Saturday. Afterwards St. Louis discussed his relationship with Thomas:

Campbell on Lightning: Danger ahead

May, 11, 2011
BOSTON -- Prior to being traded to the Bruins last June, forward Gregory Campbell had his fair share of playing time against the Tampa Bay Lightning, facing the in-state rival six times a season as a member of the Florida Panthers for five seasons. While the superstars Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos are the same, the Tampa Bay squad that knocked off the Penguins and Capitals in the first two rounds and will play the Bruins in the Eastern Conference finals starting Saturday is vastly different.

“I think it’s a lot different,” Campbell said. “They have most of their top guys still there, but as far as the way they play, the way they’re coached, the system that they have, they’re such a talented team that when you talk about the Tampa Bay Lightning, it’s about how well they play defensively. I think it’s a credit to those guys how they’re buying into the system and what the new coaching staff there has instilled. It’s working for them.

"They’ve always been a team that can score and kill you on the scoreboard, but they’re built a lot more solid now from their goaltender out. Their defense is a lot stronger and I think they’ve made a turn for the better down there. They’re a really good team right now.”

One element of the Lightning and their game that has stayed true to form through the revamping of the lineup and the change in approach is alternate captain Martin St. Louis, who is a finalist for his second Hart Trophy after a stellar 98-point season. Campbell didn’t seem to be surprised at the season the 35-year-old had or that he is still instrumental in the Lightning attack.

“He’s a guy that I was always impressed with when I played against him,” Campbell said. “He makes that team go to be honest with you. He’s extremely shifty and good with the puck. You can tell he’s a leader for that team. Playing against him as many times as I have, he’s always been a guy I’ve been impressed with.”

With St. Louis, Lecavalier and Stamkos, the Lightning have the third-best power play in the playoffs, and Campbell knows from experience the challenge that he and the Bruins' penalty-kill units will have on their hands in the Eastern Conference finals.

“They have their top guys there and their top guys are some of the top players in the league,” Campbell said. “So when you have that combination, it’s obviously going to work. They always had a power play that was, not to say it wasn’t structured, but their parts, they move in and out, and it’s tough to defend that when you have St. Louis sometimes playing on the point and then he’s down low. To have a game plan [to defend] is a little bit tougher than most.

"They have a lot of weapons too. They have the one-timer from Stamkos, and if you take that away, which most teams do now especially after that 50-goal season he had, they’ll just move it over to Lecavalier for his one-timer. So it’s tough being down a man and having to cover all those dangerous guys.”