Steve Yzerman demonstrated his character and integrity when he decided not to overrule the management group decision to exclude Martin St. Louis on Team Canada’s original Sochi Olympic roster. And it cost him.
The Lightning GM’s relationship with Tampa Bay’s captain turned toxic in the wake of that perceived snub, so much so that even the eventual inclusion of St. Louis as an injury replacement couldn’t soothe the raw feelings.
And so Yzerman was forced on Wednesday to do the unthinkable. Faced with a star who no longer wanted to play for him, he traded the NHL’s fifth-leading scorer to the Rangers for winger Ryan Callahan and a pair of draft picks.
It’s easy to argue that Yzerman made the best deal he could under the circumstances. St. Louis wasn’t just in full pout. He only wanted to go to one team and, having a no trade clause in his back pocket, he had the power to ensure that New York was exactly where he went.