New York Rangers: A St. Louis Reunion?

Kevin McRae@@McRaeWritesFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - APRIL 04:Martin St. Louis #26 of the Tampa Bay Lightning waits for a faceoff against the New York Islanders in a National Hockey League game at Nassau Coliseum on April 4, 2009 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

While the New York Rangers offensive woes came to startling light during their playoff series with the Washington Capitals, this problem plagued the team all season long. 

The lack of a genuine night in and night out scoring threat placed a great deal of pressure on the team's fragile defense and on goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lunqdvist was often forced to literally stand on his head just to keep his team in the games.

Larry Brooks, Rangers beat writer for the New York Post, reports in today's edition that the team could look to fix their anemic offense with a familiar face.  At least to Rangers head Coach John Tortorella.

Martin St. Louis, all 5'6" and 160 pounds of him, is the type of legitimate 30 goal plus scorer that the Rangers desperately need. With two years at a very reasonable $5.25 million per year left on his contract he would fill the void much cheaper than free agent options such as Marian Hossa or Marian Gaborik.

This also might be the perfect time for Tampa Bay to make a deal and start the rebuilding process after back to back awful seasons. St. Louis has a reputation as a gritty, hard-nosed player and was a favorite of Tortorella's during his stint with the Lightning.

So, he seems like a perfect fit for both teams. What could go wrong?

For one thing, St. Louis has a no trade clause with the Lightning. He has repeatedly stated his happiness at getting to play in Tampa and would have to accept a deal. On the other hand two consecutive seasons at the bottom of the conference and a chance to reunite with his old coach could sway him.

Second, as Brooks reports the Lightning would likely demand a king's ransom for St. Louis. In desperate need of defense Tampa would almost certainly target Marc Staal who is considered all but untradable. It would then be up to the Rangers to come up with a reasonable counter offer that could include some combination of Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, and AHL prospects Michael Del Zotto, and Bobby Sanguinetti.

Sure, there are stumbling blocks. But the Rangers would be very foolish to not explore this possibility. St. Louis has scored thirty or more goals five times in his career. Last year, on a team saved from last in the conference by only the Islanders, he still lit the lamp 30 times and added 50 assists. 

Two Summers ago the Rangers made a huge investment in Scott Gomez as a playmaking center. It's time they give him someone to fly with. Bring Marty St. Louis to Broadway.


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