The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers made the most noise before the National Hockey League's trade deadline at 3 p.m. Wednesday, swapping their respective captains, Marty St. Louis and Ryan Callahan, in a move that could have a big impact in the current season and for years down the line.
Compensation-wise, the Lightning received a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft and a second-round pick in 2014, in addition to Callahan, for their diminutive veteran, according to ESPN's Katie Strang. As previously reported by the Inqusitr, Callahan was rumored to potentially be on the trading block if a deal for a contract extension could not be finalized. As he is due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, the Tampa Bay Times's Damian Cristodero points out that Callahan might just be a rental for the rest of the season.
Marty St. Louis—the last remaining member of Tampa Bay's 2004 Stanley Cup team, in the first year of his captaincy with the Lightning—will bring a veteran presence and immediate goal-scoring to a struggling Rangers offense. In New York, he'll reunite with former teammate Brad Richards, with whom he won a Stanley Cup in 2004 under then-Lightning and former-Rangers head coach John Tortorella.
"We'd like to thank Marty for everything he has done on and off the ice during his outstanding 13-year career in Tampa Bay," said Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.
According to the Times, St. Louis requested the trade after initially being left off the roster of the Canadian men's Olympic ice hockey team, of whom Yzerman is the executive director. While he eventually did get to play, and win a gold medal, when former Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos was lost to injury, the veteran known to fans simply as "Marty" felt snubbed by Yzerman, resulting in tension and bad blood.
"[Marty] has been one of the greatest players in the organization's history, but in the end we honored his request today," Yzerman added. "We wish him and his family the best of luck as he continues his career in New York."
ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose said the Rangers got the better end of the deal, couching his opinion in the terms of a coach's view on immediate impact.
"I love Marty St. Louis. He's one of the elite goal-scorers in the NHL."
What seemed to stand out most for Melrose about the St. Louis-Callahan deal is that each player was his team's respective captain. He called Callahan the heart and soul, conscience and face of the Rangers.
"He'll block more shots than Marty St. Louis but Marty St. Louis will score more goals, get more assists."
What do you think of this blockbuster NHL trade?