St. Louis Brings St. Louis To St. Louis

Citing a need to energize their offense, the Spartans make a big trade for Martin St. Louis with Nova Scotia.
by Sean Gallagher | March 11, 2012, 11:05 PM ET

When asked if it was his team's recent 0-for-6 power play that sparked today's big trade, General Manager Sean Gallagher didn't exactly deny the implication.

"Well, that did put us dead last in the league in power play percentage, so yeah, you could say that was a factor."

Despite a lineup that boasts players like Phil Kessel, Rick Nash, Brad and Mike Richards as well as secondary scorers like Andy McDonald, T.J. Oshie and Chris Kunitz, the Spartans have struggled with the man-add all season. Recent struggles on the unit have seen the team's percentage fall to 13.5%.

"We have high expectations for the season, obviously," said Gallagher, "We've put ourselves in a great position this year, but I worried that the fact that the offense just hasn't clicked could be a big problem come playoff time, when everything gets harder."

Late Sunday the team announced that they had completed a trade with the Nova Scotia Schooners, acquiring Martin St. Louis, Carter Ashton and a 2013 2nd round pick in exchange for Rick Nash and a 2012 2nd round pick. Nash was acquired just this summer by Gallagher as part of a major overhaul of a roster that has been to the conference finals each of the last two seasons. The deal, by all accounts, came together very quickly.

"Eric [GM of the Schooners] and I just saw eye to eye on the value of the players we were discussing. It's always a pleasure to work with him. I'm sure he's happy with his end of the deal, as are we. I hate to move a guy like Rick Nash, but when you want to add a quality player you know you have to part with a good player.

"Rick is a great player and I'm sure we're selling low on him," said Gallagher, "We expect he'll go on to great things with the Schooners. The chemistry just wasn't right here, for whatever reason."

Chemistry is the big component the Spartans hope St. Louis brings to St. Louis. 

"He's a great shooter, a great playmaker," said coach Brian Sutter, "I think he'll be a great mentor to some of our younger guys - teach them how to go about their business, to win games. He'll see power play time, of course, and will get to play with a lot of good guys. We'll see who he has chemistry with."

As for Martin St. Louis, the change of scenery was unexpected.

"I thought I was going to be the franchise player for Nova Scotia next year. Looks like I'll be a free agent this summer instead. But I'm excited to come here to play. They have done well this year and hopefully I can be part of a strong finish and a good playoff run.

"Plus," smiled St. Louis, "For once I can finally say I'm playing for the name on the front of the jersey AND the name on the back too."



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