Roster MovesTrades

Martin St. Louis trade paying dividends when it matters

Martin St. Louis has put the regular season behind him

Things didn’t go so well for Martin St. Louis in his first 19 regular season games with the Rangers, but the trade for him on March 5th was never about the 82 games between October and April.

The deal was made because A) New York wasn’t going to re-sign Ryan Callahan and wanted max value in return, and B) St. Louis is of capable of carrying the Rangers much deeper into the postseason than Callahan is at this stage.

So sure, one goal in 19 games was a disappointment, and eight total points was pretty unimpressive. But everyone goes through a slump, and St. Louis clearly had a major adjustment to make upon arriving in the Big Apple.

Now that the games really matter, St. Louis has become an invaluable asset. In just three postseason tilts, he has two goals and three assists. Meanwhile, Callahan just went point-less in a four-game sweep at the hands of Montreal.

St. Louis has been over a point-per-game player in the playoffs in his career, while Callahan has managed just 24 points in 63 career postseason games. Despite Callahan’s numerous other contributions, St. Louis’ instant offense is something that had been missing from the Rangers, and Callahan’s best tools didn’t serve him or the team as well with Alain Vigneault as they did with John Tortorella.

The blockbuster deal may have appeared to be an early win for Tampa Bay when Callahan racked up 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 20 games with his new club, but it’s looking a whole lot less clear now. It was a swap both teams had to make, and we won’t know for years what the two high draft choices the Rangers also sent south turn into, nor do we know if Callahan will re-up with the Bolts. But the latest indications are that St. Louis is going to end up being exactly what the Rangers hoped for when they pulled the trigger on the shocking deadline deal.

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  • The tough pill to swallow here is going to be the 2 first rounders (2 if they make the ECF this year, 1 if not) they will give up. Worth it for a Cup.

    • This was really my only complaint about this trade. If we were going to lose our captain anyway, might as well get one of the most solid players in the league in the process. But between MSLs age and those two picks it felt a bit like trading away our future.

      However the Rangers do seem to have a good hang on finding diamonds in the rough, so hopefully it doesn’t disrupt as much as it could a different team.

      If Rangers win the Cup I don’t think anyone will have a problem with this trade, since MSL will without a doubt be a big piece in getting us there!

  • It’s time to eat crow. I for one was against the trade, and expressed it on many occasions, but MSL may well prove me wrong. It’s still early, but it seems that he has taken the burden of carring the team on his shoulders, and is playing very well.

  • I never had any problem with this trade. Cally is a different player and draft choices in hockey seem to be hit or miss.
    This team is greatly improved over last years edition. A good power play, some grit and four solid lines. If anything we are small but cant address that now.
    St Louis will improve as he gets to know players, love that he talks on bench with line mates, very creative and smart.
    We also now have a much better coach.

  • Agree with Dave that the 2 first rounders are tough, but Sather has clearly gone to win now mode. Nice to see MSL settling in though — there is little doubt that it makes the Rangers more dangerous.

    • They need to be in win-now mode. Hank isn’t getting younger, and they have a lot of good young players on cheap contracts. That’s always the window to win.

      • Agree. They are in win now mode. ‘Kids’ like MacD and Stepan are not really kids anymore. They’ve got a new batch of kids seasoning in the AHL (Miller, McIlrath, Lindberg… not sold on Kristo), and then Boo Radley Nieves and Brady Sjkei. Also, Kreider’s a kid but hopefully about to become Kevin Stevens with more speed and before he sucked. It’s win now, but also with some kids still in the pipe.

  • Callahan and Dubi out because they are not good hockey players. All of the positive talk about them has been misguided.

    MSL and Nash in.

    Only one comment. The current PK that includes MSL is the best the Rangers have had in years, including all the SH goals.

    • Looks like the annual Marc Andre Fleury playoff meltdown has begun.

      That winner by Foligno was some weak sauce. The tying goal was even worse.

  • Yea I have no idea what Flower was thinking coming out behind the net like that on the tying goal.

    Nevertheless, CBJ never gives up. Those boys play with heart and they just may steal this series.

    • A game like that and a meltdown like that from MAF does not bode well. He typically doesn’t recover from those.

  • MSL put his reputation on the line to force the trade. The fans here in Tampa HAVE NOT and likely will NEVER forgive him for how it went down (myself excluded).

    The team he captained was on a run for the playoffs and on the surface he came off looking like most of the other selfish athletes of his time. He was the heart and soul of this franchise – he knew it, the fans knew it, everyone but apparently Yzerman knew it.

    Because if management felt differently they would have named him captain of this team in the same press release in which they announced the Vinny buyout. You know, reward the guy for 14 years of exemplary effort and for already being the “de facto” captain for years. Instead management chose to announce that they would have a training camp “bake off” to determine the captain between MSL and Stamkos. And on opening night MSL was given the “C”. Gee Thanks – What a joke.

    Folks can talk all day about the 2014 Olympic snub but IMO the Lightning lost Marty the day the lost Vinny. No one but Marty knows why he would force the trade – but it has to be way deeper than just the 2014 Olympics.

    But Marty did it and he knew what he was going to be dealing with. And the pressure clearly showed in his play. Except for his first shift in which he almost buried his first shot, he was clearly uncomfortable.

    But here we are in Round One/Game Four and the Ranger fans can finally see what MSL is all about. He is a gamer, his attitude and professionalism is contagious, and he is one hell of a player.

    My only regret is that Sather didn’t get him two years ago at the trade deadline. But he is here now and he is very capable of taking this team all the way. Let’s Go Marty – Lets Go Rangers!!!!

    • FWIW, Marty did say that the rift with TB management goes further back than the Sochi snub. That statement may have been MSL simply covering his own butt but that idea does fit nicely with Swarty’s above narrative.

      Anyway, Bishop getting injured may have been the best thing for preserving MSL’s legacy in TB. Once Bishop came up lame TB was done this year with or without their former captain.

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