BRANDON – Tampa Bay Lightning captain Marty St. Louis returned to practice on Wednesday, three days after capturing an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in Sochi, Russia.
Instead of basking in the glow of the gold medal, however, St. Louis returned to trade rumors surrounding the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner.
Reports surfaced on Sunday that the New York Rangers inquired about a swap of St. Louis in exchange for New York captain Ryan Callahan, who is a pending unrestricted free agent that the Rangers are struggling to get signed to an extension. That was followed by a separate report stating St. Louis requested a trade out of Tampa after he was initially left off the Team Canada roster, which was put together by Tampa Bay general manger Steve Yzerman along with a committee.
When St. Louis was asked about the rumors on Wednesday, he offered up only a brief answer.
“I’ve had talks with Steve about my future with the team and I’ll leave it at that,” St. Louis said.
When pressed further St. Louis declined to elaborate whether he has asked for a trade or of he wants to remain with the team.
Tampa Bay opens the post-Olympic schedule on Thursday in Nashville to start a four-game road trip. With the trade deadline approaching on March 5, it’s possible St. Louis may not suit up again in front of the home fans as the Lightning will next play at home on March 6.
Since arriving in Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2000, St. Louis has gone on to win a Stanley Cup, was named league MVP, win two scoring titles and represented Canada at the Olympics on two occasions and once at the World Cup of Hockey. The 38-year-old is the all-time leading scorer in franchise history and played in his 1,000th career NHL game in November. St. Louis is in his first year as Lightning captain.