TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: Martin St. Louis #26 of the Tampa Bay Lightning scores a first period goal against the Montreal Canadiens at the St. Pete Times Forum on January 27, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Damian Cristodero, a Tampa Bay Lightning beat writer with whom I am familiar and respect, has initiated speculation on Martin St. Louis' future with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Though he admits there is no indication that either he or the Lightning have taken any steps towards moving him, it's a discussion that likely will happen. The Lightning are not in the playoff picture and are, as Cristodero says, a "team in transition." St. Louis, at 37, might decide he wants to move on for one last chance at the Stanley Cup, which likely is not going to happen in Tampa Bay in the next year or two.
Though St. Louis does have a No-Trade Clause, it seems like a given (though not guaranteed) that he'd approve a move to the Rangers. He'd stay east, move to a team that theoretically should be contending in the next couple of years, and would be reunited with Tortorella and Richards. St. Louis has been linked to the Rangers in the past.
St. Louis has an astounding 37 points in 28 games so far this season. Of course, pretty much anyone on Stamkos' line is going to put up gaudy assist numbers, but he is still a quality offensive player despite his age. It's unknown if the Lightning have any interest in moving St. Louis or if St. Louis is open to it. And who knows what the asking price would be. But should St. Louis and the Lightning reach the decision that a trade makes sense and St. Louis has a short trade list that includes the Rangers, rendering his market pretty weak, the stars could perhaps align for Sather to make a difference-making move without breaking the bank to make it happen.
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