Published July 14, 2011
STAMFORD, Conn. -- Like everybody else, Martin St. Louis is waiting.
The Tampa Bay forward has no idea what's going on with teammate Steven Stamkos, who is a restricted free agent but still hasn't come to terms with the Lightning. St. Louis said he and the rest of his Tampa Bay teammates are waiting for the situation to play out.
"No, I really don't know what's going on," St. Louis said Wednesday night at a charity hockey game, the Big Assist, at the Terry Conners Rink. "But honestly, I'm not worried about it."
St. Louis declined to go into any further details about what he knew of the negotiations between Stamkos, the No. 1 pick of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, and the team.
What the 36-year-old did elaborate on, however, was the Lightning's spectacular 2010-11 season. St. Louis said Tampa Bay's first year under GM Steve Yzerman and coach Guy Boucher was a huge success, and fans can expect to see a repeat performance in the near future.
"We took a giant step this year and obviously now we have something to compare to," St. Louis said. "It's going to be harder this year, we're aware of that, we just need to start with training camp and go from there."
After missing the playoffs for three straight seasons, the Lightning advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost in seven games to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. St. Louis said it was hard to come just one game away from the Final, but it's something the team will build off of going into the 2011-12 season.
"It's tough, but at the same time it's the way you want it," St. Louis said. "You want to push all out there and see as far as you can get. So for us, I think we surprised a lot of people and now the expectations are going to be higher."