REPORT: St. Louis Still Demanding Trade, And Only To Rangers (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Darren Dreger confirms McKenzie's report.

While this is no earth shattering new information here, I think it's worth noting that this the first time that Tampa Bay has (indirectly) acknowledged St. Louis and New York as a potential marriage. More specifically, they're not telling teams that St. Louis can't or won't be traded, but rather that he can't or won't be traded, as of right now, to teams who aren't the "New York Rangers." It's a bit of semantics, but it should be identified as a small step by Tampa in terms of loosening their grip and preparing to move on from St. Louis. 

Original Post: What a crazy few days this has been. Two weeks ago nobody would have even considered the idea that Martin St. Louis would retire anywhere besides Tampa Bay nor would the Lightning even listen to offers on their captain. Now, Bob McKenzie, previously skeptical that St. Louis would go anywhere, is reporting otherwise on TSN's 1050.

However, McKenzie also believes Tampa Bay could opt to deal with the increasingly hostile situation in the summer.

Keep reading for my take.

Things can change and maybe St. Louis and Yzerman make up. It wouldn't be the first time a trade request was reppealed. That being said, it's looking increasingly likely that Martin St. Louis is going to be moved eventually, and specifically to the Rangers. As it currently stands, we're likely looking at "when" St. Louis is moved; not "if."

As with everything, Steve Yzerman is left with weighing risk against reward. More specifically, the positives of hanging onto his team's leading scorer against the potential disaster that would be embarking on a Stanley Cup chase with a captain who does not want to be there and the ensuing media circus. 

And that's the big issue here. People have placed skepticism on prospect of the Lightning making a move. "Why would Yzerman trade St. Louis?" The answer is because he might have no choice. Columbus wanted absolutely nothing to do with a Rick Nash trade, either. And similarly, Nash's no-trade clause allowed him to handpick potential destinations. Eventually, Columbus saw the writing on the wall and realized that there was no choice but to accept 50 cents on the dollar for Nash from the Rangers.

Yzerman faces a similar inevitability. If St. Louis truly wants a move to New York and isn't changing his mind, then Yzerman is going to be putting a lot of stress on the rest of the players and coaches by keeping him. Plus, who knows if St. Louis has even reached his limit here.He's disgruntled and restless now; how much worse can and will things get if March 5th passes and Yzerman blew off St. Louis' request to move? 

We come back to the idea of measuring the risk/reward of keeping St. Louis against moving him. If Glen Sather calls up Yzerman dramatically lowballing him then running with St. Louis and hoping things work out is the clear choice. But if Sather offers up Callahan and maybe another lesser piece, which all reports indicate is likely, then it's a tremendous gamble to decline. We learned from the Brad Richards and Rick Nash acquistions that, once Glen Sather identifies his target, he gets him. He's been in the game forever and knows all the right buttons to push. He'll get the media against you until he's suffocating you like a cobra. And then he gets his man. Even if Yzerman doesn't want to pull the trigger, he's being backed into a corner and might just not have a choice. 

 

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