Martin St. Louis has spent the last 12 years of his NHL career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he may finish the 2013-14 season with a different team.
Newsday confirmed Wednesday that St. Louis requested a trade, but new details have emerged about the team he would waive the no-movement clause in his contract to join.
“My clear understanding is, (St. Louis) asked for a trade, it sounds as if that trade request still is very much in affect, and he asked for a trade to only one team: the New York Rangers,” Bob McKenzie said Wednesday during a radio appearance on TSN 1050.
McKenzie’s TSN colleague Darren Dreger reports that St. Louis is “locked on” the Rangers.
Trading the team captain would be a difficult move for Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.
His team sits in second place in the Atlantic Division and has played well without injured superstar center Steven Stamkos over the past two months. If Stamkos makes a healthy return and starting goaltender Ben Bishop continues to play at a Vezina Trophy-level, Tampa Bay could make a Stanley Cup run this season. Trading the team’s leading scorer in St. Louis would hurt the Lightning’s ability to compete in the Eastern Conference unless Yzerman gets a top-six forward in return.
Yzerman doesn’t have to trade St. Louis before the March 5 deadline because he’s not a free agent this summer. The 38-year-old forward has one more year left on his contract, which carries a $5.625 million salary cap hit.
St. Louis has tallied 56 points (25 goals, 31 assists) in 58 games this season.