Suddenly on deadline day in the National Hockey League, the cherished ĎCí became all about Ďmeí.
The captains of two teams were revealed to be nothing like captains at all, traded for each other in a mashing of egos, mirrors, contract negotiations, hurt feelings, pettiness and singularity.
It was almost enough to make Darryl Sittler tear the ĎCí from his jersey once again, if that wasnít bad enough the first time around.
This should have been the time of Martin St. Louisí life. He just won an Olympic gold medal in Sochi. The best shooter in hockey, Steven Stamkos, is set to return to the lineup of the much-improved Tampa Bay Lightning. If Jon Cooper isnít coach of the year in the NHL, he is certainly on the ballot. How many goalies are playing better than Ben Bishop? And in an Eastern Conference devoid of a great team, somebody has to play for the Stanley Cup and that somebody just might be the Lightning, the team he has represented for 13 seasons.
Only, Marty didnít see it that way. He was too hurt when his general manager, Steve Yzerman, left him off the Team Canada roster. He was hot and sour that this was the second straight time Yzerman, as Canadian GM, picked a gold medal winning roster without including him. He was added to the Olympic team only because Stamkos couldnít play.
Never mind the me-first about it all, which captains are never supposed to be. Yzerman was one of a handful of executives who comprised the Canadian front office. Mike Babcock and his coaching staff put their team together too. By the time the roster was selected, Yzerman had a choice: He could have gone against consensus, and process and select St. Louis, or he could manage the team properly and injure his position in Tampa.
There was no easy call, but Yzerman, a former captain himself, chose to be a team player.
Something St. Louis could learn from.
Instead, St. Louis exploded. He told Yzerman what he thought of his Team Canada and the GM, boldly told him he never wanted to play for him again.
He didnít just demand a trade, even with a no-trade clause, he demaned to be dealt to the New York Rangers.