Marty St. Louis, The beloved captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, has ended his career with the Lightning via trade. It was announced early on in the trade deadline news that St. Louis would be donning a new sweater for the rest of his career for the New York Rangers.
Many fans were shocked as expected on why this deal happened. No one expected this deal to take place and many laughed off the talks and whispers of a deal actually occurring. It was Marty St. Louis, sure Vinny Lecavalier was great and Brad Richards but this was Marty. Marty doesn’t get traded.
“St. Louis? No, he would never leave! He loves it here!” many fans said at the notion of him moving. Well as much as it pains the Tampa Bay area another beloved member of that ’04 championship team has left and this one was the “heart and soul” according to many fans.
Both Steve Yzerman and St. Louis wouldn’t discuss what brought this about. Yzerman wouldn’t speak for St. Louis and St. Louis was on a flight to his new team. However, Yzerman’s quotes in the press conference were very interesting and hinted at times that this stems from St. Louis being left off the Team Canada’s roster and at others as something that was discussed even before that.
Yzerman said in his press conference that “his hands were kind of tied but not really as he could have made the decision to not move the player at all.” He was put in a tough spot as soon as St. Louis asked for a trade. What he got in return will help the franchise in the future in Ryan Callahan and draft picks but for now, to fans, none of that really matters. Their captain was moved and they were left wondering why he could leave a team with bright stars such as Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson and a team in the middle of a playoff race with a strong likely hood of making it in.
All that really matters is that it was a foregone conclusion to everyone involved that Martin St. Louis, after 13 years, was not going to finish his season in Tampa.
St. Louis wrote a letter to fans expressing his “thanks for the support” over the years and “understands that there will be anger…but in the end this was a decision for my family.”
The Ranger will face the Lightning next year. When they do, fans should consider how little they truly know of the situation and how much they know of what Marty has done for the city on and off the ice before booing him.
No one knows the real reasons why St. Louis left except management and him. With that being said, he should still be honored upon his return as a way of giving thanks for services rendered.
He had to leave someday but many were hoping it was at a retirement press conference with a Tampa Bay Lightning logo behind him.
No one ever expected it to be like this. The future may be bright for the Lightning but right now it seems a little dark.