Brian Lawton was the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning for two seasons, 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Lawton is now an analyst for Sportsnet in Canada and indicated that Martin St. Louis asked him for a trade to the Rangers in 2009.
Today on Hockey Central at Noon, Lawton said that Martin St. Louis requested a trade to the Rangers in 2009.
Lawton said, “I can tell you that when I was in Tampa in 2009 right before the trade deadline where Marty was waiting in my office for me and he came in and said that he wasn’t happy and wanted to be traded and wanted to be traded to one team which was the New York Rangers. So when I heard this, it’s a little bit deja vu.”
When asked if this is more about the Rangers over issues with Steve Yzerman, Lawton said, “hard to say right now but back then it was quite clear to me. Everyone knows that Marty has a house in CT and his wife is from there and all that stuff but when I look at this now I think that this was a different scenario back then and I had my suspicion back then that some of the people that were from Tampa Bay prior and were then working for the Rangers were contacting Marty about coming to play there. Our team was not doing well at the time and I immediately felt that it was the issue. I made some phone calls, I had some meetings with Marty about how important he was to the organization, he still is today, and eventually everything was worked out rather quickly.”
He added, “I knew I wasn’t going to trade him back in 2009, I had some suspicions as to what was going on…tampering in my opinion and sometimes those things get worked out behind closed doors, which in this case it did, and everything moves on.”
John Tortorella became head coach of the Rangers in February of 2009.
“All I can tell you about Marty St. Louis, my lasting impression of him is in game 82 when your team has already been eliminated from the playoffs and busting his rear end to get off the ice for a line change. This guy doesn’t know how to do anything but give his all for whoever he is playing for. If he came to me, like he did back then, I had my suspicions as to what I think was driving that, I believe, it was stamped out pretty quickly and everything moved on nicely and been an incredible fit with Steven Stamkos.” (Lawton on HC@Noon)
St. Louis signed an extension with Tampa Bay on 7/1/2010 and the team went to the Eastern Conference Finals during that season.