Hearsay: St. Louis snub surprised Crosby

Martin St. Louis did not deny that he requested a trade in January after he was initially left off Team Canada’s Olympic roster by his Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

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CROSBY THOUGHT ST. LOUIS WOULD MAKE TEAM CANADA

Team Canada captain Sidney Crosby tells The Tampa Bay Times he’d love to see Steven Stamkos recovered from his broken right tibia in time to play for the Canadian Olympic team next month.

“It’d be great,” Crosby told The Times. “With what he brings, the player he is, especially on that bigger ice, he could be very successful.”

Really insightful quotes from No. 87 on the evolution of Stamkos’s game too. Worth checking out. Crosby calls Stamkos a “student of the game.”

Crosby was also asked about Stamkos’s star Lightning teammate Martin St. Louis, who didn’t quite make the cut for the stacked roster.

“I mean, he was right there,” Crosby said. “I don’t think any of us could have exactly picked the team, there’s so many tight decisions and tough ones. But, yeah, definitely he was a guy that I was thinking was going to be there.

“He was right on the bubble, as (well) as probably 10 other guys where you could kind of mix and match. But ultimately you could tell it wasn’t an easy decision for that whole group. When they were announcing the team, you could just tell it looked like they were all pretty stressed out in a room for a few days.

“As nice and as much of a luxury it is to have so many great players, it was probably pretty difficult to not pick some guys, especially with Marty being in Tampa and (Steve Yzerman) being the (general manager) there. I don’t think there’s ever an easy way to do it, but I don’t think it was a lack of success on Marty’s part. He’s done everything I think he could to be in that position.”

BIEKSA READY FOR SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS

In the wake of Canucks coach John Tortorella’s 15-day, six-game suspension, The Vancouver Sun points out it’ll be Mike Sullivan calling the shots behind the Canucks bench with the help of fellow assistant Glen Gulutzan.

Leave it to defenceman Kevin Bieksa to lighten the mood.

“They are all on the same page, they all know what they are doing,” said Bieksa. “Sully has been a head coach in the league before and he knows what it’s like to be the big cheese behind the bench. He’ll probably wear a little bit nicer suit to the game, one that fits, and a nicer tie. And maybe Gully will comb his hair different. They know what they are doing.”

HABS’ BOURQUE KNOWS WHY HE WAS SCRATCHED

Straightforward talk from Canadiens winger Rene Bourque Monday via The Montreal Gazette following Saturday night’s healthy scratching against Toronto.

“I’ve had some good games and some not so good,” Bourque said. “It’s been a tough year and I knew it was coming, and it happened to be Saturday. He didn’t have to say anything. I knew what it was about.”

“Obviously, I wasn’t happy but there’s not much I can do about it,” Bourque added.

Any issues fitting into the Canadiens’ system?

“Every team plays basically the same,” he said. “My game is forechecking, banging bodies and trying to get the puck low behind the net and throw it up top. I have to get rebounds in front of the net and, obviously, I haven’t been doing enough of that.

NOLAN CALLS OUT SABRES’ LEINO

Biting words from Sabres coach Ted Nolan about forward Ville Leino, via The Buffalo News.

“We’re looking for people that want to compete and want to work,” Nolan said. “It doesn’t matter what your skill level is. It’s nothing with no will. We have to get him competing at a certain level. Some days he shows it. Some days he doesn’t.

“You’re frustrated with most people that don’t do it on a consistent basis. He’s showed some signs lately.”

HOSSA, 35, NOT READY FOR RETIREMENT

The Chicago Tribune relays Marian Hossa’s admission that his thoughts inevitably drift to the possibility of no longer being a hockey player.

“It always crosses your mind when the season is getting really long and you’re on the road and you have lots of time to think,” the Blackhawks winger said. “As long as I can enjoy the game and keep up with the young guys, I want to definitely play. We’ll see how long.”

Hossa, on two-way play: “When you look around this room, there are so many goal scorers so I don’t have to worry about scoring as much. When I came here, I tried to set an example of playing two ways. I learned it and I’m sure there are lots of young players in this dressing room like when I was young and I could look up to somebody. Maybe if somebody is willing to play both ways I can be an example, so I try to do that. I would be happy if I can help that way.”

On his actions over words: “To tell you the truth, I don’t talk about anything,” Hossa said. “I just try to play my way and if they see something, it’s great. I’m not one of those guys who are going to come up to them and try to teach them something.”

Solid quote from teammate Duncan Keith, via CSNChicago.com: “I don’t think 35 is that old; maybe I’m saying that because I’m 30 now. But he’s the same player, with the same speed, same skill as when he was 25. It’s a credit to him, his ability and his work ethic. We all know him as a guy who’s in great shape, a great skater. He’s done that his whole career.”

DUCKS EQUIPMENT MAN READY FOR DODGER STADIUM

The Los Angeles Times indicates with the Stadium Series game between the Kings and Anaheim Ducks set for Saturday night, the Ducks will practice at Dodger Stadium at 6 p.m. Friday.

Team equipment manager Doug Shearer: “We’ll see what the guys say and back off how deep the hollow [skate bottom] is if it’s too soft. Because of our practice time, we’ll have a good feel for how it’ll be at game time under the lights.”

Shearer said he’ll bring two skate machines to Saturday’s game, keeping an extra in the Dodgers’ dugout if widespread adjustments are necessary.

BRODEUR LOOKS TOWARD OUTDOOR GAME

Fire & Ice points out Devils coach Pete DeBoer hasn’t named a starter for Sunday’s game against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium.

Martin Brodeur said Saturday’s practice at Yankee Stadium will helpful for him and Schneider to prepare for Sunday’s game.

“I’ve never done it and I don’t know what to expect,” Brodeur said of playing in an outdoor game of this scale. “That’s why, for me and Schneids, that practice will be really important for us just to get used to everything. The temperature Saturday and Sunday should be similar. The lighting, I think, we’re going to practice around 12, so it’s similar to game time. So, we’ll have an idea what to expect a little bit after the first day.”

On if he’ll wear a Devils toque: “I don’t know. We’ll see. I don’t know how much that it warms up. If it makes it feel warmer, I’m going to put in it, but I doubt that it does. One goalie, (Leafs Jonathan) Bernier, had it (at this year’s Winter Classic) and the other goalie didn’t have it. I don’t know how you stick it there and it stays there. It must be glued on. I scramble too much to have a toque on my head.”

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