Jan 19, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis (26) looks on before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Should Martin St. Louis Replace Steven Stamkos On Team Canada?


After the initial disappointment over the announcement that Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos would not be medically cleared in enough time to accompany Team Canada to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia settles in, a lot of questions come to mind. I think the first of these questions is who will ultimately replace Stamkos on Team Canada’s roster? This brings me to my next question; should that player be Lightning captain Martin St. Louis?

Now, as an objective Tampa Bay Lightning fan, I can see this from multiple points of view.

First of all, you have the fans’ point of view. As strictly a fan of the team, my first instinct is to demand that Martin St. Louis be added to the Team Canada Roster in Stamkos’ place. We have all heard the argument in Marty’s defense a million times, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the captain has earned his place. Whether or not it comes to be, that is a different story.

Then, you have the point of view of Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman. While Yzerman asserts that the decision to leave St. Louis off of the Team Canada roster was indeed a committee decision, you have to concede that a certain amount of pressure, whether undue or not, lies squarely on the shoulder of the GM.

I am sure that the conversation between St. Louis and Yzerman had to be one of the most awkward, tense, and all around uncomfortable conversations he’s ever had to have in his entire life. Do you think that he wants to be put back in that same situation one more time? Could he really spurn his own captain twice in one season?

I think you can tell by the scoreboard that Marty is none of the things that he was accused of being; too old, too slow, can’t score, and all the other ridiculous things that came out in light of his Olympic snub. Again, there is nothing in my mind that says that the spot should not deservedly go to St. Louis; however, there is one more, and probably the most important point of view to consider – that of the Captain himself.

If I were Marty, I would be look at this one of two ways. First of all, at the age of 38, there is a very good possibility that this may be Marty’s last chance to take a run at Olympic Gold. While I would never count Marty down and out of anything, the possibility is indeed there. With the heart and soul that Martin St. Louis has and the consistent dedication he has shown to the game of hockey, would you lobby for said position or sit back and wait for the call to come?

On the flip side, if Marty is as bitter as I would be in his position, would you, purely out of spite, refuse the offer if it were to come? Now, this is a pretty gigantic if. First of all, I don’t see Marty as this type of person; however, people do on occasion do crazy things in the name of hurt and anger. Secondly, if this is indeed his last hoorah, could you walk away from the opportunity?

There are a lot of factors that are going to play into the final decision to come out of Team Canada; however, not one of you can deny that Martin St. Louis does not have the skill, heart, soul, and desire necessary to be an integral part of Team Canada, and potentially bring home the Gold for his country.

What are your thoughts on the matter? If you were Steve Yzerman, would you be making the call to St. Louis? If you were St. Louis, how would you respond when/if the call were to come? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what your thoughts on the matter are.

 

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Tags: 2014 Winter Olympic Games Martin St Louis NHL Sochi Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Sonny Chiba

    Bob McKenzie (as well as other analysts) have posited that a second snub might irreparably damage the relationship between Marty and Stevie Y (and, by extension, Marty’s ties with the Bolts’ organization.) There is the distinct possibility that this may be true.

    In this situation, the onus falls upon Yzerman to use his weight (and final “say-so”) as Team Canada’s GM to ensure Marty gets the nod – If for no other reason than that of self-preservation (and perhaps common decency.)

    That Yzerman sacrifices the amount of time he does to fulfill the honorary position he’s been granted with Hockey Canada is admirable – But, such sacrifices should never have to be made at the expense of the relationships and commitments that come with his primary role as Lightning GM.

    To that end, the Canadian Olympic Hockey establishment should be made to realize that it cannot have its’ cake and eat it, too – To gain from Yzerman’s expertise (and sense of national pride) while undermining his professional obligations to the Lightning, is an absurd and wholly unfair expectation.

    Marty must play. Or, Steve Yzerman should threaten to resign his position with Hockey Canada, immediately. That is the ultimatum he should present them with, if faced with any decision to the contrary. It boils down to a matter of priorities.

    My two, anyhow.

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