What a way to kick of the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline. Two captains swap locations with Martin St. Louis going to the New York Rangers and Ryan Callahan headed to the Tampa Bay Lighting. Can the day's opening trade get any more dramatic than this one? Probably not.
What does this mean for St. Louis fantasy owners?
Prior to the trade St. Louis was the 20th ranked player in Yahoo fantasy leagues and I had him ranked 14th among my top 100 forwards. In 62 games, the former Lightning captain had 29 goals, 61 points, a plus-12 rating, six penalty minutes, 18 power play-points and 167 shots on goal.
Many people thought his production would slip when Steven Stamkos suffered a broken tibia on Nov. 11. That wasn't the case. In 17 games alongside Stamkos, St. Louis had seven goals and nine assists -- his usual point-per-game production. In the 45 games since the Stamkos injury, St. Louis posted 22 goals and 23 assists -- still point-per-game production.
Now a member of the Rangers, I would expect nothing short of the expected point-per-game numbers from St. Louis. I also expect him to slot right into Callahan's previous line placement alongside former Tampa Bay teammate Brad Richards and speedy left wing Carl Hagelin. The Rangers could also try an all-Canadian line with Rick Nash, Richards and St. Louis, but for now, I believe they'll keep their top line of Nash, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider together.
St. Louis should continue to see his three-plus minutes of power-play time and his plus/minus will remain close to his current plus-12. All told, St. Louis' fantasy value shouldn't change much despite the address change. Expect him to finish with 80-plus points with solid peripheral stats, excluding penalty minutes.