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Michael Russo's NHL short takes

  • March 1, 2014 - 6:02 PM

A gold medalist with a grudge?

Reports began to circulate last week that Tampa Bay Lightning veteran star Martin St. Louis had asked to be traded and the Lightning and New York Rangers were talking about a captain-for-captain (Ryan Callahan) swap.

Those reports were initially discounted until St. Louis held a press scrum, confirmed he had spoken to GM Steve Yzerman about his future and left it at that, refusing to refute the reports. Speculation is that despite the Lightning being third in the East, St. Louis’ feelings were hurt by Yzerman not originally choosing him for the Canadian Olympic team (never mind that he eventually won gold as an injury replacement for Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos).

If true, St. Louis should grow up, especially with the Lightning third in the East and having a chance to do some damage in the playoffs.

Big buzz about Kesler

A day later, Quebec TV reporter Louis Jean reported that Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler has asked to be traded, something he categorically denied the next day. It certainly appears, though, that where there’s smoke there’s fire here. If Kesler is on the block, 29 teams would have interest, although only a few would have a legitimate chance (Detroit, Columbus, Philadelphia?) and it would take a boatload to get him.

“Whether he wants to go or stay, he’s not going anywhere,” joked Roberto Luongo, who has wanted to be dealt for some time. “We all know how this script ends.”

He said it

Blues captain and U.S. Olympian David Backes, on whether Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo rubs his gold medal in his face: “He’ll be missing more than half a tooth.”

© 2014 Star Tribune