Never mind that St. Louis was eventually added to the team because of an injury to Steven Stamkos. Forget that Yzerman was not alone in picking the Canadian team. For St. Louis, who is as proud as he is talented, the circle of trust had been broken.Marty, here's the story.
And so that's why St. Louis feels misunderstood now. The way he sees it, he wasn't the disloyal one.
"My time in Tampa, I gave everything I had," St. Louis said. "Everything! Who was more loyal? Look at my career there."
Your boss passed you by for a special project - twice - and you felt slighted and unappreciated. So you did what anyone would've done, and that's go looking for another job. Which is completely reasonable.
However, sports aren't about reason, they're about emotion. People can't identify with you and what you did because fans put athletes up on a pedestal. Supposedly, athletes aren't like regular people, which you'll agree with me is bullshit. But that's how so many fans think.
You, in particular, were put on one of the highest pedestals ever in Tampa Bay. The fans adored you. They didn't just call you the "heart and soul" of the team - they meant it. You exemplified everything every fans wishes every player could be like.
And then you turned out to be human, and they feel betrayed by that.
You see, they took it personally. They thought that all of that love and adoration they had for you was returned - and I'm sure it was. But for them, that meant forever, no matter what the circumstances.
After all, athletes don't have feelings, right? You're mere objects in which to idolized and worship. And to actually think and feel for yourself, well, we can't possibly have that. That would make it all way too complicated. Humans are messy, but heroes are always good and honorable and simple.
You didn't help yourself with the stuff you were saying while in New York, either, though. That was a big part of things. Your comments about loving being in a big market and such without any qualifiers just made it all worse. It was probably totally inadvertant on your part, but you made the Lightning fans feel like they weren't good enough, and that pissed them off.
The only way you would've been able to win would've been to have said up front that you didn't feel needed in Tampa Bay anymore, so you wanted to go play with your good friend Brad Richards. And then...kept your mouth shut. Instead, you were quiet when you should've been talking, and talking when you should've been quiet.
My advice to you is to face up to it. And then not say a word all summer to any member of the media. Let it die down and people will start to forgive you for disillusioning themselves. There will always be people who hate you for what they did to themselves, of course, but such is life.
Personally, I wish you the best of luck. I hold nothing against you about this, since you just did what you needed to do. I just really wish you'd been a bit more diplomatic in how you'd worded things after you got to New York, though. You could've avoided a lot of this angst, if you had.
Anyways, good luck with your first game in Tampa next season. Seriously. Because you're going to need it. This one quote pretty much sums up how you'll be dealing with Lightning fans for the rest of your life:
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou