Martin St-Louis says teams were interested, but his heart wasn’t in it anymore

Jared Clinton
Martin St-Louis (Getty Images)

No one expected Martin St-Louis to play forever and coming off of a season in which he scored 21 goals and 52 points in 74 games, he likely could have played one more season. Even St-Louis, at his retirement press conference, admitted that much. But the 40-year-old said his heart just wasn’t in it anymore.

“I knew there were teams interested,” St-Louis said. “I understood the Rangers situation in terms of the salary cap. I think if my heart was in it, they would have found a way. But for me, at that point, my heart wasn’t in it. I feel like if I do something, I’m 100-percent in it. Right now, it feels like it’s time to be 100-percent dad and family man.”

A family man is exactly what St-Louis will get to be. He’ll get to participate in his children’s practices, games and step behind the bench to help out. And, he says, that’s something he’s ready to do because so much of the focus over the past 16 years has been on what he needed to do to stay at the top of his game in the NHL. Read more

Carter Ashton signs in KHL following 2014-15 season that saw trade, suspension

Jared Clinton
Toronto Maple Leafs v Arizona Coyotes

When he looks back on his career, Carter Ashton will probably consider the 2014-15 campaign one of the most difficult of his career, but he’s ready to start a new chapter in the KHL.

The KHL’s Torpedo Nizhy Novgorod announced Tuesday they have signed the 24-year-old winger to a contract for the upcoming campaign. This past season, Ashton got only a brief taste of the NHL, suiting up for seven games and failing to register a point. Over his NHL career, he has played in 54 contests, netting three assists and 32 penalty minutes.

A first-round selection, 29th overall, of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009, Ashton’s game never quite found its way in the NHL. During his first season in the professional ranks, which came in 2011-12, Ashton was shipped off to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Keith Aulie. In Toronto, Ashton would get his first taste of NHL action and he played nearly half a season – 32 games – with the big club in 2013-14.

What grabbed Ashton headlines, however, wasn’t his play, but a 20-game suspension for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. Ashton tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance, which he said was the result of using an inhaler he was given by a player he had trained with. Read more

Why hasn’t your team done anything this off-season?

Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman.  (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

We’ve seen plenty of turnover on NHL rosters so far this summer, setting up what appears to be even crazier parity than normal in each division. The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks made major moves in the Pacific. The Washington Capitals jazzed up their top two lines in the Metropolitan. The Chicago Blackhawks did anything but sit on their championship team, making over a quarter of their roster.

A bushel of franchises, however, have been oddly quiet so far. Some are justified in their thought process. Others have their angry fans yelling “DO something!”

Why do some of these teams appear to be deer in the headlights right now? There’s a plausible explanation for each, though some are more maddening than others.

Read more

World Junior Championship in Florida? Tampa Bay puts in official bid for tournament

Amalie Arena (Scott Audette/Getty Images)

While it’s not considered a traditional hockey market, Tampa Bay has shown they’ve got love for the game. Now, in an attempt to showcase their incredible fan support on the international stage, the city has put in an official bid for the 2018 World Junior Championship, which is to be held in the United States.

According to the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith, the group hoping to bring the tournament to Florida filed its official bid by the end of June and they’re hoping USA Hockey, which will narrow down the applications and suggest a host to the IIHF, leans in favor of Tampa Bay.

“Tampa is very formidable in the conversation,” Dave Fischer, the senior director of communications for USA Hockey, told Smith. “The (Lightning) owner (Jeff Vinik) and sports commission is aggressive. We’ll see where it winds up.” Read more

Report: Sami Salo set to officially retire after 15-year career

Jared Clinton
Sami Salo (Scott Audette/Getty Images)

While it’s far from surprising, it appears that Sami Salo, who hasn’t suited up since the 2013-14 campaign, could be close to officially announcing his retirement.

According to a report from Iltalehti.fi, the 40-year-old Salo will likely be forced to call his career quits following a wrist injury. The injury, which came at the end of the 2013-14 season, was so severe that is cost Salo the entirety of his 2014-15 campaign, as he remained a free agent for the duration of the season.

“It is very unlikely that Sami will be able to play longer and continue,” Salo’s agent Markus Lehto told Iltalehti. “(His) wrist injury is so severe.” Read more

Jeff Tambellini signs one-year contract with Lightning after four seasons in Europe

Jared Clinton
Jeff Tambellini (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

For the past four seasons, Jeff Tambellini has made his way throughout Europe, suiting up in Switzerland, Sweden and back to Switzerland again. But the 31-year-old winger signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning that will see him back in North America next season.

Tambellini is the interesting case of a player who seemed like he was a perfect fit for the NHL game in a clutch and grab-free era, but was never quite able to carry over his skill at lower levels to the big league stage. Drafted in the first round, 27th overall, by the Los Angeles Kings in 2003, Tambellini struggled to make an impact in the NHL during his first go-round.

Over the course of 242 NHL games in which he suited up for the Kings, New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks, Tambellini scored 27 goals and 63 points, or fewer total points than he scored in one 57-game campaign with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2007-08. Read more

Martin St-Louis announces retirement, Hall of Fame is next

Jared Clinton
Martin St-Louis (Getty Images)

Martin St-Louis has played his final game in the NHL.

The 40-year-old announced Thursday that 2014-15 was his final season in the NHL and, in a release by the New York Rangers, announced that he is retiring from the game. There’s little doubt St-Louis will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he could very well be a first-ballot inductee.

“I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride,” St. Louis said in statement. “I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.” Read more