St. Louis, Yzerman deserve benefit of doubt

Relationships of any kind are hard. Whether it’s personal or professional, it still takes a lot of work on both parties to make the relationship succeed.  One wrong step or miscommunication could send the relationship on the ropes. From there it can only get worse.

Tampa Bay Lightning’s GM Steve Yzerman is now realizing this as his captain Martin St. Louis asked for a trade.


That’s right, the venerable small winger who embodies the “heart and soul” of the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise asked to be moved.

It was reported that he asked to be move initially after Team Canada initially left him off the roster. Now that he made the Olympics and won gold, no one knows if he still wants to be moved and no one is talking. Not Yzerman and not St. Louis, making fans feel all the more uncomfortable about the situation.


The only thing coming from player or GM was this. “Steve and I have had talks about my future and I will leave it at that.”

Here’s what is known, sometime after the Olympic snub, Marty St. Louis asked for a trade and wanted to be moved to one team and one team alone—the New York Rangers. As he holds a no-move clause, he can dictate which teams he wants to go to and he only chose one other team in the league. Logic dictates that if he were so bent on leaving the Bolts, it would have more than one team and give Yzerman flexibility to move him.

Here is the other thing that logic dictates, just because St. Louis asked for a trade doesn’t mean that Yzerman has to move him at all. He could keep St. Louis and not move him if the deal isn’t there.

Whether Yzerman keeps or trades him is up in the air and fodder for many media outlets.

What fans really care about is does he still want to play for the logo on the front? Does their beloved captain, who has succeeded against all odds, want to be here with his team or does he want to be a locker room cancer and out?

The fans need to look at the on-ice results to see their answer and listen to the whole quote. Start with the quote: “The only thing I can say about that is I’ve had conversations with Steve on my future here. Out of respect for my teammates, I think that’s all I’m going to say about that.”

A guy who doesn’t care if he gets traded or what his team thinks of him will make it known, look no further to the Danny Heatley fiasco the Ottawa Senators experienced a few years ago.  St. Louis didn’t do that, he said that he didn’t want to talk about it and made no mention on if the talks were on going.

One would have to think, he would phrase it differently if he were still interested in leaving. By his quotes, he said, “I am here and that’s all we are going to talk about right now.” Shouldn’t fans give him the benefit of the doubt? They probably should and they should give Yzerman the benefit of doubt on making things good again with his captain.

His on-ice play is speaking louder than his quotes are as he has had four goals in his return and doesn’t look like he intends to quit on his team. That should be good enough to ease fans fears and enjoy the great hockey that Tampa is playing as they are starting to get healthy and will have Steven Stamkos back and ready to go for a deep playoff run.

By the way, this isn’t the first time St. Louis has asked for a trade. According to Brian Lawton, he did in 09 as well and if fans remember right before St. Louis signed the extension, he met with Yzerman and owner Jeff Vinik so it’s not the first time they have had to smooth things over. They may have done so already, again no one knows for sure.

The snubbing happened in January, a meeting supposedly happened right after between the player and management. No one knows what is discussed, and it was all reported at the end of February. So, it’s been under wraps since now. This seems more like a case of the media closing the barn door after the horse has already escaped.

The fact that’s its Marty St. Louis might have blown this thing out of proportion but realistically it doesn’t need to be. The team is in a good spot, he got a gold medal and things can still be sorted out, or have been, between Steve Yzerman.

Four goals in two games back, folks, he is still the “heart and soul” and he hasn’t said he wants to leave since coming back, at least not on the ice.