Just hours after Marty St. Louis and Canada beat the United States to advance to the gold medal game last Friday, former NFLer Boomer Esiason who co-hosts the ‘Boomer and Cart Show’ on CBS New York tweeted this:
“Marty, Marty , Marty in a good way? Hard to believe.”
Then just over 24 hours later Esiason tweeted this:
On Monday, Esiason explained whom he was referring to when he said “Marty” making sure his New York and New Jersey listeners didn’t think he meant Devils netminder Martin Brodeur who is also the subject of trade rumors.
“Not Brodeur and not the city of St. Louis but St.Louis,” Esiason said.
According to the former football star, prior to the Olympics and roughly around the time St. Louis was snubbed from being named to the original Hockey Canada Men’s team roster, the Rangers and Lightning discussed a straight up trade of St. Louis for impending free agent Ryan Callahan. Esiason also seemed so sure this deal would go through he added:
“Now the only reason this deal wouldn’t go through is if somebody gets cold feet or somebody lowers their contract demands.”
On Tuesday however, a Tampa Bay Lightning source told Murph’s Musings that’s not the case and whatever may have been discussed isn’t still an option from the Tampa Bay side.
“At this point it’s very unlikely St. Louis gets moved,” the source said. “He’s too key to our offense and with Stamkos back, we need him.”
The source wouldn’t deny or confirm Esiason’s reports though.
Callahan and his agent are at an impasse with Rangers GM Glen Sather on a possible new contract extension. Callahan is reportedly asking for a seven-year deal worth $6.5-7 million per season while the Rangers have countered with five seasons at $6 million per. St. Louis would come with a year left on his contract and a $5.6 million cap hit. That coupled with the numerous reports that St. Louis was steaming mad over the Olympic snub do give credence to the Esisason report and based on the fact that Esiason has proven to be tapped into the NHL before — being one of the first to break the story that the NHL lockout was over in January, 2013, — the Rangers and Lightning could’ve had legitimate talks on such a trade.
TSN insider Bob McKenzie pointed out Monday “where there is smoke there is usually fire” and that the two teams likely did talk on the subject, with the possibility that St. Louis hinted at a trade request. But as McKenzie also said, chances are they didn’t get to the stage Esiason reported or if they did, are still at the stage they may have been at before. One must also factor in that when an injury replacement was needed for Hockey Canada, Lightning and Canada GM Steve Yzerman made sure St. Louis got one more and likely last chance at gold.
Now that he has won that gold and that Stamkos is nearing a return, it appears St. Louis and Yzerman have smoothed things over and are focused on a playoff run. The Lightning are in a prime position to make some key additions at the deadline and at best what could be described as a somewhat lateral move like St. Louis for Callahan doesn’t seem likely. Again, it could happen but chances are Yzerman doesn’t and never wanted to break up the dynamic Stamkos-St. Louis tandem.
Markov Doesn’t Deny Report Of Contract Offer; Gionta future uncertain
While covering the Montreal Canadiens practice for NHL.com in Brossard, QC Tuesday, I asked Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov if he could confirm or deny a report by Montreal sports talk show host Tony Marinaro of TSN 690 who tweeted on Monday that Habs GM Marc Bergevin had offered Markov a one-year deal just over $6 million and that Markov rejected it asking for a three-year deal.
“Who said that?” he asked.
When told that it was Marinaro, Markov sarcastically replied:
“Probably I guess he was over at the meetings? Like I said, I have nothing to say right now. Wherever you guys [the media] try fishing or whatever, that’s up to you.”
To read more on that and also how Brian Gionta feels about the possibility of being traded or leaving Montreal as a free agent in July click here.
Later on Tuesday rumors started to surface online and on the radio that the Pittsburgh Penguins could be a likely trading partner for the Canadiens should they decide to trade Markov. With defenseman Kris Letang likely out for the regular season after suffering a stroke a few weeks back and Paul Martin now out a month after suffering a broken hand at the Olympics, the belief is the Penguins who are already looking for a forward, may turn their eyes to Markov to help ease the loss of Letang on the power play. But as one NHL source told Murph’s Musings Tuesday night:
“They’ve got plenty of depth on D with young guys already making an impact. They need a forward.”
As for Gionta, NBC rink side reporter and TSN analyst Pierre McGuire suggested on Melnick In The Afternoon” on TSN 690 that the Devils could be interested in reacquiring Habs captain who won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003. Yours truly suggested that a month ago and I agree with McGuire that it would be a good fit. The question is what would and what could Bergevin get in return for the 35-year old Gionta.
Expect the Stars to deal Whitney but be relatively quiet
A Dallas Stars source confirmed to Murph’s Musings on Tuesday that the Stars are listening to offers for veteran forward Ray Whitney and according to another NHL source, the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings are interested in the 41-year old veteran who won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and also played two seasons in Phoenix before signing with Dallas prior to last season. But as of now don’t expect the bubble playoff team from the Lone Star state to be too busy.
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