Four years ago, Martin St. Louis was one disappointed guy. He wasn’t selected to the 2010 Team Canada roster and missed out on the chance to win gold and play for his country in his country.
This time around, he says he’ll do whatever it takes to make the 2014 roster. Mike Brophy at NHL.com hears it from the man himself.
“I’ll be a natural whatever they want me to be if it means making the team,” St. Louis said with a grin. “If I have a chance to play for my country at this stage of my career, I’ll do whatever they want.”
St. Louis, of course, is a natural right wing and with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also being Team Canada’s GM, you’d think he’d have an easy in, right? Not so much. Yzerman was also Team Canada’s GM back in 2010 as well.
As we’ve seen from Team Canada’s invite list, the competition to make the team will be very tough. Considering how consistent of a point producer St. Louis has been through his career, his chances have to be pretty good.
Vincent Lecavalier doesn’t have any hard feelings about being bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
On his conference call to speak about what went down this morning, the former Lightning captain says a buyout was something he knew could happen but still caught him off guard.
“I was at the table with the family having breakfast and my phone rang and it was Steve (Yzerman),” he said. “It turned out they were buying me out… It’s tough. It’s tough when you’ve been at it for so long and you’ve been through so much in one place and where this organization is going. It’s very hard.”
That’s a good way to spoil your bacon and eggs. Getting paid $32 million to move on to another city is a better way to feel OK with that. Lecavalier welcomes the challenge.
“It’s a tough day but at the same time, I know I’m going to be somewhere else it’s going to be a different challenge but I’m so motivated to go somewhere else and prove I can play at a high level. I believe in myself, I believe in what I can bring to a team. I want to win.”
As for where that next challenge will be, he says he’s ready for anything. When asked about the possibility of playing in Detroit, he had an awkward confession to make.
“It’s actually a team I grew up idolizing. Them and Montreal were my favorite teams. Ironically, Steve Yzerman was my favorite hockey player,” he said.
“My door is open to everybody. I haven’t really made a list yet. I’m really open to anything. I haven’t pinpointed anywhere I wanted to go. It’s been five hours (since the buyout) and I’m still not there yet.”
The line forms to the left for 29 other GMs looking for a guy who’s been a consistent scorer throughout his career.
Related: Timeline: The Lecavalier Era in Tampa Bay
After the Lightning announced they were buying out captain Vincent Lecavalier this morning, the next question was if there’d be someone else headed out the door with a fat paycheck in hand.
GM Steve Yzerman says that’s not in the cards right now.
Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times finds out from Yzerman that there’s nothing cooking for another buyout this summer.
“We’ll see what happens next year but for this year there’s no plan,” he said.
What that means is forward Ryan Malone can breathe a little easier.
With Lecavalier out the door, that could mean just about anyone would be eligible to be bought out and Malone was a prime target with two years and $5 million left on his contract. Malone’s biggest issue, however, is his $4.5 million cap hit. If Mattias Ohlund were healthy, he too would likely be a candidate as well.
Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund hasn’t played since the end of the 2010-2011 season. A terrible knee injury has put his career in doubt and the team has him under contract until 2015-2016.
Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times says Ohlund’s inability to play is going to wind up costing the team a lot of money one way or another. Ohlund, meanwhile, says there’s not much more he can do to get healthier.
“From a surgery standpoint, there is nothing more that I can do,” he said. “Everybody has been absolutely wonderful, management, coaches and everybody with the Lightning. As for how it’s going to play out, I’m not completely sure.”
With three more years left on his deal, the Lightning would normally likely use a compliance buyout on Ohlund. His injury status makes that impossible to do as injured players cannot be bought out.
While the team can get cap relief, if needed, by putting him on long-term injured reserve they’ll still have to pay up the final $6.75 million he’s owed. Ohlund could also retire, but it’s highly unlikely he’d be eager to give up the money to do it. Somehow GM Steve Yzerman is going to have to make his $3.6 million cap hit not be an issue.
Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman is feeling confident about his squad at the World Championships. He’s feeling so good about them he doesn’t see the need to add anyone else to the roster as Donna Spencer of The Canadian Press reports.
“At 12 and eight, we really have no plans of adding a forward,” Hockey Canada’s executive director of the national men’s team said at the Globe Arena. “If we got an injury, maybe add a forward, but we’re comfortable with the group we have.”
Rosters can have 22 skaters and three goalies. As it is now, Canada has 20 skaters now with the addition of Vancouver’s Dan Hamhuis and two goalies so there’s room to bring in help if needed.
What’s curious about this is now Team Canada could add P.K. Subban to the roster if they wanted (and he was willing to go). Who wouldn’t want to add a Norris Trophy finalist?