The tears of joy from the news of the imminent return of Lightning center Steven Stamkos have turned to tears of sadness for a good majority of hockey fans here in the Bolts Nation. It has been confirmed by multiple sources that the Tampa Bay Lightning have indeed traded captain Martin St. Louis to the New York Rangers in exchange for their captain Ryan Callahan.
The first to report the news was TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Confirmed: New York Rangers trade Ryan Callahan, 1st and 2nd round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St.louis. #NHL
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenlze) March 5, 2014
According to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, the deal reportedly sees Tampa Bay receiving Callahan and a 2nd Round Draft pick in 2014 and a 1st Round pick in 2015.
Up until this point, the now former Lightning captain had score 29 goals and 32 assists for a total of 61 points along with a plus-12 rating. He has led the team in all things scoring since Lightning center Steven Stamkos went out to injury back in November.
Callahan has not quite had the same luck that St. Louis has enjoyed this season when it comes to finding the back of the net. Callahan has scored 11 goals and 14 assists for a total of 25 points, and has a minus-3 rating.
No one knows with one hundred percent certainty what the reasoning behind this move is. Neither St. Louis nor Yzerman have been willing to speak publically on the issue. One can’t help but wonder how this will affect the Tampa Bay Lightning’s playoff hopes now that we are in the final stretch of the season.
In my own personal opinion, I would have delayed this move until the off-season; however, as I said before, no one knows what has been going on behind closed doors that serve as the motivation for this move.
Here is the real question, ladies and gentlemen. What do you think of the trade? Do you think that Steve Yzerman has made a colossal mistake by trading away our top goal scorer who has been the heart and soul of the team for as long as many can remember, or do you think the Lightning will be able to refocus now that all of the chaos surrounding this situation is over? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.