Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman reportedly has dealt his No. 1 right-winger to the New York Rangers prior to Wednesday's 3 p.m. ET NHL trade deadline in exchange for fellow captain and forward Ryan Callahan and a pair of draft picks.
It's believed the Rangers are sending the Lightning a conditional second-round pick in 2014 and a first-rounder in 2015. Reports also suggest New York would receive an additional draft pick should Yzerman re-sign Callahan, who's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Stamkos tweeted earlier in the day that he would return to the Lightning lineup on Thursday for the first time since breaking his right shin bone on Nov. 11 in a game against Boston.
St. Louis, 38, has scored 29 goals and 61 points in 62 games this season, but there was talk he was upset with Yzerman when St. Louis was left off Canada's initial roster for the recent Sochi Olympic hockey tournament, and St. Louis reportedly asked for a trade to the Rangers.
Yzerman, the Canadian squad's executive director, later added St. Louis in place of the injured Stamkos, but the relationship between the two may have soured by that point, with St. Louis waiving his no-trade clause to get a deal done.
In 2004, St. Louis was the NHL's highest point-getter with 94 and later won the Stanley Cup, followed by the Hart Trophy as league MVP to become the first player since Wayne Gretzky and eighth overall to score hockey's trifecta (Hart, Ross, Stanley).
The native of Laval, Que., also won the Art Ross in last year's lockout-shortened season with 60 points in 48 games.
St. Louis has one year and $5 million US left on his contract, which carries a $5.625-million cap hit for the 2014-'15 season.
He's the second straight Lightning captain to go to the Rangers, following Brad Richards, who signed with New York as a free agent in the summer of 2012.
Callahan, also a right-winger, has been linked to trade rumours in recent weeks while attempting to have his contract extended.
The 28-year-old has 11 goals and 25 points in 45 contests this season. His best season was in 2011-12 when he recorded 29 goals and 54 points in 76 games.
Earlier this season, Callahan was said to be asking for a seven-year deal worth more than $48 million US, and had recently softened his demands to six years and around $39 million.
In his eighth NHL season, all with the Rangers, Callahan is a three-time 20-goal scorer and has scored 132 goals and 122 assists for 254 in 450 regular-season games.
St. Louis joins a Rangers outfit that is seventh in the Eastern Conference and third in the Metropolitan Division with a 33-26-3 record for 69 points.
At 34-23-5, the Lightning are third in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the East.Suggest a correction