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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
St. Louis addresses trade talk

By Katie Strang

GREENBURGH, N.Y -- Rangers forward Ryan Callahan isn't the only captain fielding questions about his future in the week leading up to the NHL's trade deadline on March 5.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis returned home from Sochi, Russia with little time to revel in Team Canada's gold medal-winning performance in the 2014 Olympic games. Instead St. Louis was asked to address the rampant rumors that he had requested a trade from Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman after he was initially left off Team Canada's roster Yzerman, who also constructed the Canadian national team, later added the 38-year-old veteran forward as an injury replacement for Steven Stamkos.

In short: St. Louis did not deny it.

"I've had talks with Steve about my future with the team and I'll leave it at that," St. Louis told reporters on Wednesday, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Why is this relevant in New York? According to the New York Post, Rangers general manager Glen Sather called Yzerman to inquire about St. Louis' availability, though Yzerman did not seem to reciprocate interest in a deal involving the Art Ross Trophy winner for a rental player in Ryan Callahan, who is a pending unrestricted free agent. The Rangers and Callahan's camp remain at an impasse in a contract extension for the 28-year-old winger.

A league source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com that St. Louis was unhappy after the initial snub by Yzerman, though it is not immediately known if the damage has since been repaired. St. Louis does have a no-move clause in his contract, though it is believed that New York would be an appealing destination to him since he has a home in Connecticut and trains there during the off-season.

Though it does not appear anything is imminent on the trade front, the situation in Tampa is one to monitor closely as the deadline nears.

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Defenseman Marc Staal, who has been hampered recently by back spasms, said he felt better on the ice during practice Wednesday. Assuming he feels the same Thursday morning and experiences no setback or tightness, he expects to be in the lineup against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

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Derek Dorsett (leg) took part in a full team practice Wednesday, though Alain Vigneault said he plans on holding the gritty forward out until the team's back-to-back set this weekend.

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With starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist one of seven players returning from the Olympics, backup netminder Cam Talbot will get the start Thursday vs. the Hawks. Lundqvist will be back in goal Saturday against the Flyers.