Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos

Stamkos, St. Louis and Lecavalier won’t bolt for Europe…yet


Given the large number of skilled players offered work overseas, you’d think the Tampa Bay trio of Steve Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier would be in hot demand.

And they very well might be. But for now, all three are sticking in North America.

That was the word out of Tampa on Tuesday as the trio stated its collective desire to stay home and wait for a new CBA to be reached.

“Whenever we do start, and I don’t care what you did all summer, when you get into getting hit, it takes you about two weeks to catch up,” St. Louis told the Tampa Tribune. “But once you get into games, it’s like (the snap of a finger). It comes back, so I’m not too worried about that.”

St. Louis, 37, has toyed with the notion of going to Europe, but has stayed back in part because of his family. During the last lockout, he played for HC Lausanne of the Swiss National League “A”.

On Monday, Stamkos and Lecavalier — who played for AK Bars of the Russian league in 2004-05 — also re-iterated their desire to stay home rather than play abroad.

Player agent Mark Guy confirmed that Stamkos will continue to workout in his hometown near Toronto, while Lecavalier told the paper he’s hopeful the season will start soon, given how close the two sides are.

“If you do the math (on CBA negotiations) it’s not that far apart,” he explained.

“We’ll see what the week brings. I still like to think that there is reason to be optimistic.”

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.