Yzerman thanks St. Louis, ‘but in the end we honored his request’

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A statement from Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman after the Lightning traded Martin St. Louis to the Rangers:

“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. He has been one of the greatest players in the organization’s history but in the end we honored his request today. We wish him and his family the best of luck as he continues his career in New York.”

A nice statement. Though one wonders if, privately, Yzerman is talking so diplomatically about St. Louis, who took his initial omission from Team Canada’s Olympic roster — a roster that Yzerman was ultimately responsible for compiling — so personally.

St. Louis has not fared particularly well in the court of public opinion since his trade request was first reported. And while at least one Florida media member doesn’t blame the 38-year-old for asking out…

…it’s worth mentioning what Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said about Yzerman after winning gold in Sochi.

“What makes Steve a good leader? No. 1, he is a good person and he understands what is right and what is wrong,” Babcock said.

“Even though the hard decisions are hard, he’s not scared to make them.”