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Does Martin St. Louis really want a trade out of Tampa Bay?

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Though Martin St. Louis (26) ultimately made it to Sochi, he has not forgotten the initial snub from Team Canada. (Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Martin St. Louis (26) was left off the initial Canadian Olympic roster. (Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

By Allan Muir

So the media in Tampa had a chance to speak with Martin St. Louis after practice on Wednesday morning. They had plenty to talk about: His Olympic success, the stretch run for the Lightning.

Oh, and those rumors.

You know, the ones that suggested that St. Louis had been so insulted when Steve Yzerman, then the GM for both Team Canada and Tampa Bay, initially snubbed him for Sochi that he demanded a trade? Well, the Bolts winger could have put them sweetly to rest. Instead, this is what he had to say:

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  • Published On Feb 26, 2014
  • Canadiens goalie Price aggravates Olympics injury, out at least two games

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    Carey Price was dominant in the Sochi Olympics, blanking the U.S. and Sweden to guide Canada to a gold medal.

    Carey Price was superb in Sochi, blanking the U.S. and Sweden to lead Canada to a gold medal. (David E. Klutho/SI)

    By Allan Muir

    Add Carey Price to the list of Olympic casualties.

    The all-tournament goaltender suffered a lower-body injury while leading Team Canada to gold in Sochi but was expected to be ready to go for the Canadiens on Wednesday night against the Red Wings and coach Mike Babcock. Plans changed though when Price came up limping after facing his first shot in practice on Wednesday morning.

    Montreal coach Michel Therrien said that Price is expected to miss at least two games, which means he’ll be out on Thursday for the match against the Penguins and Team Canada mate Sidney Crosby.

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  • Published On Feb 26, 2014
  • Steve Yzerman steps down as GM after Team Canada wins gold

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    Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock

    Steve Yzerman assembled the first men’s team to win repeat Olympic gold medals since 1998. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    If you gotta go, go out on top.

    With his Canadian Olympic team basking in a golden glow, executive director Steve Yzerman announced today that he’s turning over the keys to the country’s most prestigious, and most second-guessed, job, effective immediately.

    “It’s time to let someone else have a shot at it,” he told the media in Sochi.

    Yzerman assembled one of the greatest lineups ever to wear the Maple Leaf for these Olympics, and certainly the best ever defensive side. Canada gave up just three goals in six games while proving they could succeed on the big ice surface.

    The timing might have been a surprise, but the decision wasn’t. After twice building an Olympic gold-medal winning team, it makes sense for Yzerman to devote himself full-time to his day job running the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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  • Published On Feb 23, 2014
  • UPDATED: John Tavares out for season after Sochi knee injury

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    John Tavares of Team Canada suffers a leg injury in Sochi Olympics.

    Canadians as well as Islanders fans have to be worried after seeing John Tavares go down and out of the Games. (AP)

    By Allan Muir

    UPDATED: Early this morning, Newsday’s Arthur Staple reported that a post-game MRI on Tavares revealed a torn MCL and torn meniscus. The injury will force the 23-year-old to the sidelines for the remainder of the NHL season.

    Tavares reportedly will undergo surgery upon his return to New York. He’s expected to be ready when training camp opens in September.

    Despite a roster that features 11 of the NHL’s top-25 scorers, Team Canada can’t seem to buy a goal at the Olympics … and things won’t get any easier. In the press conference after his team’s narrow 2-1 win over Latvia, Canadian coach Mike Babcock confirmed that John Tavares suffered a leg injury and will be lost for the remainder of the tournament.

    The injury occurred when Tavares collided with Latvian defenseman Arturs Kulda in the second period. He did not return for the third.

    Tavares had been used primarily in a fourth-line role for Canada, but as the NHL’s third-leading scorer with 66 points, he clearly had the potential to assume heavier duty if asked.

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  • Published On Feb 19, 2014
  • Team Canada shakes up lines at day two of Sochi practice

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    Sidney Crosby

    Sidney Crosby’s spot is secure on Team Canada, but much of the lineup is undergoing changes. (Bruce Bennett/Getty)

    Team Canada coach Mike Babcock threw his lines into the blender on the second day of practice in an attempt to find chemistry before Thursday’s Olympic opener against Norway.

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  • Published On Feb 11, 2014
  • Jeff Carter earns coveted role alongside Sidney Crosby for Team Canada

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    Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings

    A veteran of the 2006 World Championships, Jeff Carter will be playing in his first Olympics. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Canadian fans have been scribbling Olympic line combinations for this year’s team on blogs and beer napkins almost since the end of the 2010 Games. Today, we finally got our first idea of how coach Mike Babcock envisions Team Canada taking shape when it debuts on Thursday against Norway.

    The team’s first practice in Sochi saw Jeff Carter in the coveted right wing spot on Canada’s top line alongside Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. It had been speculated for a couple of weeks that the Kings’ sniper would get the first look if Steven Stamkos couldn’t go, so this isn’t a big surprise. Carter is a right-handed shot and one of the game’s best scorers, so he has the tools to fill the role. How long he stays there, though, depends on whether he can develop some kind of chemistry with Crosby.

    The other two units in today’s skate saw Jonathan Toews centering Patrick Sharp and Rick Nash, while Ryan Getzlaf was between John Tavares and Corey Perry.

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  • Published On Feb 10, 2014
  • Is Dan Hamhuis the next injured player to be put on Team Canada’s shelf?

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    By Allan Muir

    The Canucks confirmed after this morning’s skate that defenseman Dan Hamhuis is out for tonight’s game against the Canadiens.

    On most days, that kind of news would be of interest only to Vancouver’s diehard fans and the dozen or so guys in fantasy leagues that are deep enough to make owning a 15-point blueliner worth it.

    But on the day when Team Canada made its first Olympic roster replacement — substituting Martin St. Louis for the injured Steven Stamkos — there’s a very real possibility that Hamhuis’ absence could signal the need for another.

    MUIR: Was St. Louis Team Canada’s best pick?

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  • Published On Feb 06, 2014
  • Martin St. Louis replaces Steven Stamkos on Team Canada for Sochi

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    Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning

    Martin St. Louis’s recent play suggests a player who had his eyes on an Olympic roster opening. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    So, Martin St. Louis has been chosen to fill in for Steven Stamkos on Team Canada.

    The best choice? I’m not sure about that, but it’s clearly the most popular decision that GM Steve Yzerman and the Canadian brain trust could have made. And certainly the safest.

    St. Louis was probably the most surprising snub when the rosters were announced last month. The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner was off to a good start and had such terrific chemistry with Stamkos that it seemed inevitable they’d be drafted in as a duo.

    But clearly there was something missing from St. Louis’s game that led to him being passed over in January. It’s been suggested that there were concerns about his defensive commitment and his ability to adapt his game to the big ice. Those worries haven’t gone away during the last month, but his response to the snub — 16 points in 14 games; being held without a point only twice — suggests a player who was highly motivated to prove himself worthy of a second look if a spot opened up.

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  • Published On Feb 06, 2014
  • Ranking the Replacements: Who takes place of Stamkos for Canada in Sochi?

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    Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes

    He’s not the sexiest pick, but Eric Staal makes a lot of sense for Team Canada. (Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    It was supposed to be a great day for Steven Stamkos, the day when doctors finally gave him the green light to return to the Lightning this weekend, just in time to secure his role with Team Canada for the Sochi Olympics.

    Instead, the CT scan he underwent on Wednesday revealed that the leg he fractured back on Nov. 11 has not healed as well as initially thought. He can be re-evaluated in another two to three weeks, but that’s too late for him. And too late for Canada.

    For Stamkos, this decision means he now focuses on using the Olympic break to get healthy for Tampa Bay’s playoff drive. But for Canada, it means finding a replacement for the player who was expected to be the focal point of the team’s offense as it aimed to defend its gold medal.

    Let’s get this out of the way right here: No matter the depth of Canada’s talent pool this is an absolutely devastating loss. There’s no replacing what Stamkos would have brought to the table. There is no one who can match his release or his shot or his knack for finding space on the ice. That guy doesn’t exist.

    But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t quality options for Steve Yzerman and his staff to consider. There are the snubs whose omission stunned observers as well as others who have played their way into the mix in the month since the rosters were first announced on Jan. 7. The trick will be to find a player who is willing to accept a role as Canada’s 13th/14th forward, but also is capable of playing on the top line if necessary.

    Here are the players that Team Canada is likely sizing up at this moment.

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  • Published On Feb 05, 2014
  • Steven Stamkos to miss Sochi Olympics

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    Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning

    Steven Stamkos’s amazing recovery from his broken leg wasn’t enough to save his Sochi hopes. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Steven Stamkos failed to secure medical clearance from team doctors and will not be allowed to join Team Canada for the Olympic Games.

    A CT scan taken earlier today showed that the leg he broke in early November has not fully healed, according to Lightning and Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman.

    “After reviewing the CT scan this afternoon, Dr. Gutentag made it clear to me and to Steven that the tibia is not completely healed and therefore he should not be participating in game action at any time in the near future,” Yzerman said in a team statement. “Although the doctor
    was very pleased to this point with the healing process, he explained that the callus surrounding the fracture site is not 100 percent consolidated, and Steven will not be cleared to play in a game until that happens. It was a pretty clear cut decision, no gray areas at all.”

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  • Published On Feb 05, 2014


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