Posts Tagged ‘Martin St. Louis’

NHL 2014 playoff stretch drive trade pickups that are paying off … or not

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Thomas Vanek of the Montreal Canadiens

After escaping from Long Island, Thomas Vanek has ignited the Canadiens’ offense. (Terry Renna/AP)

By Allan Muir

Most hockey trades can’t, and shouldn’t, be judged for years. They deserve time to play out, to tip the scales as the players make their marks during their tenure with their new teams.

NHL deadline trades, though, are different. They’re unique because the expectations of the partners in the deal vary so widely.

One team takes the long view, hoping that a pile of magic beans eventually yields a top-six scorer, a sturdy defender or, at the very least, a low-dough roster-filler who can help it stay under the cap. For the other side, the payoff must be microwaved — delivered hot and fast with an eye set on playoff success. It doesn’t matter how the other side of the equation — next season and beyond — plays out. Executed properly, these deals pay off quickly and then it’s on to the next thing.

Here are six players who switched sweaters at this year’s deadline and are on the verge of paying those immediate dividends … and three more who could be downgraded to junk status.

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  • Published On Apr 02, 2014
  • Jamming The Crease: NHL rookies impress; Toronto turmoil; more notes

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    Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Bay Lightning

    Who misses Martin? Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat are sparking the Lightning’s offense. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    News and notes from around the NHL…
    The biggest beneficiary of the Martin St. Louis trade? Try Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Ondrej Palat. With just three assists to show for his first eight games in New York, St. Louis hasn’t exactly taken the Rangers’ offense into brave, new directions as expected. He’s looked disengaged at times, frustrated at others and has just two shots on net over his past three games. He’ll snap out of this slump eventually (he survived a nine-game drought earlier this season), but it won’t matter much if the Blueshirts don’t start piling up some wins. Given the importance of Friday night’s game against Columbus, this would be a good time for him to show up. Meanwhile, Palat has put up 11 points since St. Louis pouted his way out of Tampa, and he’s done it while meshing seamlessly with new linemates. Funny how that works when you don’t need an excuse. Then again, the kid isn’t looking for one. Watch Palat and you can see his work ethic and focus every shift. That’s where the results are coming from, and that’s the difference right now between him and his old linemate.

    Martin St. Louis joins Rangers’ long line of aging marquee names

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  • Published On Mar 21, 2014
  • Top Line: Martin St. Louis flopping on Broadway, Blues take a hit, more links

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    Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers

    The Rangers had 41 shots n a 1-0 loss to San Jose, but Martin St. Louis (26) didn’t take any of them. (Gerry Broome/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Wasn’t Martin St. Louis supposed to spark the Rangers’ offense? The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner hasn’t scored in seven games since joining the team, but then again he’s not the only Blueshirt who is struggling to light the lamp.

    • You can’t blame New York for feeling like the NHL war room bungled this goal review.

    • The Flyers got more than four points out of a home-and-home sweep of the struggling Penguins.

    • Pittsburgh will get two key players back for practice today, but does it mean that either is close to returning to game action?

    • Three games in three days would be a nightmare for most players, but for Nathan Lieuwen it was a dream come true.

    • The Blues will have to go deep into the playoffs if they hope to see Vladimir Tarasenko again this season. The 21-goal scorer needs surgery on his right hand and will miss at least six weeks.

    • Jim Matheson talks about a potential front-office retirement, a potential buy-out candidate and a first-line talent on Long Island in his this ‘n’ that column.

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  • Published On Mar 17, 2014
  • Top Line: Roberto Luongo trolls Canucks; Lidstrom honored; more links

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    John Tortorella and the Vancouver Canucks

    John Tortorella’s former goalie took delight in the Canucks getting waxed in Dallas. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Roberto Luongo let everyone back in Vancouver know that he hadn’t forgotten them by trolling his old team during their 6-1 loss to the Stars. Is there a word for something that’s funny and depressing at the same time?

    • Was Thursday night the beginning of the end for John Tortorella? The Canucks played like a team that was trying to get its coach fired.

    • This might not be the exact moment that Vancouver’s season ended up in a ditch, but it’s probably pretty close. Zack Kassian’s looking at a two-to-three game ban for this one.

    • Tim Thomas wasn’t between the pipes for the Stars, but Dallas believes that the 2011 Vezina Tophy winner can be a difference maker down the stretch. Look for him to get his first start next week.

    • If Nick Lidstrom had gotten his way, a different number would have been honored by the Red Wings last night.

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  • Published On Mar 07, 2014
  • Top Line: Deadline trade grades; Garth Snow on thin ice?; more links

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    Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin

    Why is this man smiling? Montreal GM Marc Bergevin had a very good deadline day. (Ryan Remiorz/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Jim Matheson offers grades for each team that took part in trade deadline activity and says it was a better day for buyers than for sellers. Hard to argue with that assessment considering how little money prime scorers with expiring contracts fetched on the market.

    • Eric Duhatschek agrees with Matheson’s assessment, saying that there won’t be any cases of buyer’s remorse when the league’s general managers wake up this morning.

    • Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin went from being burned in effigy to being elected mayor of Fickleville after his deadline-beating deal that brought Thomas Vanek to Montreal.

    • It’s pretty clear that  Garth Snow is no Rumpelsiltskin after he failed in his efforts to spin Vanek into gold, but the Islanders GM is well situated for success a few months down the road when the draft rolls around. That, however, begs the question: Should Snow be the one who is allowed to call the shots in June?

    • Rory Boylen lists the Canadiens, the Kings, the Rangers, the Capitals and the Senators as his five winners of deadline day.

    • Adam Proteau takes issue with Boylen’s acclaim for Washington, saying that its acquisitions don’t make the team a sure thing for the playoffs, let alone a contender.

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  • Published On Mar 06, 2014
  • Steve Yzerman pays price, trades Martin St. Louis to New York Rangers

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    Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning was traded to the New York Rangers

    Pouting his way out of Tampa Bay after his Sochi snub has stained Martin St. Louis’s reputation. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    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.

    DEADLINE DAY BLOG: Trade rumors and analysis | TRADE TRACKER

    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.

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  • Published On Mar 05, 2014
  • Top Line: Roberto Luongo trade fallout; Ryan Callahan deadline drama; more

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    Roberto Luongo at the Heritage Classic

    Being benched for the Heritage Classic led to Roberto Luongo’s stunning exit from Vancouver. (Graig Abel/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie hopped on the NHL Network to share some late-night trade gossip, including insight into what prompted the Roberto Luongo deal.

    • The Luongo trade marks the end of one of the most grievously mishandled talent surpluses hockey has ever seen. Does it mean the end of Vancouver’s playoff chances as well?

    • David Hyde says that the deal for Luongo feels more like a desperate cry for attention than a bold move toward respectability for the Panthers.

    • The Luongo trade forced the Canucks to dress a backup who hasn’t played in nine years.

    • Contract talks continue between the Rangers and captain Ryan Callahan, but the time to come to a new agreement is rapidly running out. Fans of both don’t care which side blinks first, as long as one of them does.

    • The upstart Avalanche knocked off the Blackhawks last night to pull to within one point of the defending Stanley Cup champs in the Central Division. Nathan MacKinnon also etched his name alongside Wayne Gretzky’s in the NHL record book. Pretty good night for Colorado, all things considered.

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  • Published On Mar 05, 2014
  • Blogging NHL trade deadline day 2014

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    Thomas Vanek of the New York Islanders

    Another season gone wrong has made dealing Thomas Vanek a necessity for the Islanders. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Welcome to our coverage of deadline day. Here’s a running log of the trade action with my thoughts on each deal and rumor:

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  • Published On Mar 05, 2014
  • Top Line: Pat LaFontaine shocker, Ryan Miller’s new era, more links

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    Craig Patrick, Pat LaFontaine and Tim Murray of the Buffalo Sabres

    Pat LaFontaine (center) seems to have lost a power struggle in Buffalo’s front office. (Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

    By John Rolfe

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Bucky Gleason examines the abrupt resignation of Sabres hockey ops president Pat LaFontaine, a stunning development that suggests the dual boogeymen of discord and dysfunction have barged into Buffalo’s seemingly sunny front office. Apparently, the Ryan Miller trade was the product of a power struggle that was lost by the Hall of Famer, who loved working with the Sabres but now returns to the NHL and his former gig in the department of player safety. What this bodes for the rebuilding team should be interesting.

    • Meanwhile, Ryan Miller is more than happy to be making a fresh start in St. Louis.

    • Playing outdoors is nice and all, but its appeal is clearly limited, as Vancouver has learned. Seats are still available for today’s Heritage Classic, which has been hurt by the lack of rivalry between the Canucks and Ottawa Senators as well as the teams’ underwhelming play this season. A rematch of the 1915 Stanley Cup Final hasn’t exactly made fans stampede to the box office, but the game should have its charms.

    • With Eddie Lack getting the start for the Canucks in today’s marquee event, what does it mean for Roberto Luongo?

    • Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman says he’s not giving much thought to the trade deadline despite his team’s struggles of late–Saturday night’s outdoor demolition of the Penguins notwithstanding.

    • The Penguins, who have some issues to address, may be very interested in Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler.

    • In his Sunday collection of thoughts and observations, Larry Brooks of the New York Post says the Rangers have done all they can to keep Ryan Callahan, an impending UFA, but the Blueshirts’ captain has every right to wonder why he’s being asked to take less than he thinks he’s worth when GM Glen Sather has had a habit of lavishing riches on some pretty questionable imports.

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  • Published On Mar 02, 2014
  • Phil Esposito goes bananas over Martin St. Louis trade rumor (NSFW)

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    Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito

    Talklng a blue streak: Phil Esposito’s rant is the Hall of Famer at his unvarnished best … or worst. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Anyone who has heard Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito on Sirius/XM’s NHL Network Radio knows that he’s willing to work a little blue on occasion to make a point. It’s all part of his rough-hewed charm.

    But earlier this week, Espo found an online outlet that offered him the leeway to express himself in a less guarded fashion. And the results are certainly soiled, if not solid, gold.

    Asked for his take on the reports that Martin St. Louis will be traded to the Rangers, the former Lightning GM, who’s now an on-air Tampa Bay analyst, let loose with an expletive-filled rant, ripping the source of the rumor — New York Post writer Larry Brooks — before admitting that there might be some basis to the story. St. Louis had reportedly requested the trade after being snubbed for the Olympic by Team Canada and Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. What Esposito’s screed lacks in adherence to the Socratic Method, it makes up for with frothing vitriol.

    WARNING: Esposito’s oratory is wildly not safe for work or small children or nursing mothers. But it is pretty amusing. Listen here if you dare.


  • Published On Feb 28, 2014


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