Vigneault, Sather talk about Rangers acquiring Greenwich resident St. Louis

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather addresses the media during Wednesday's press conference at Madison Square Garden. — Paul Silverfarb photo

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather addresses the media during Wednesday’s press conference at Madison Square Garden. — Paul Silverfarb photo

The New York Rangers have a new forward on their roster and it’s Greenwich resident and former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis.

Earlier today, the Rangers and Lightning finalized a deal that would send the leading scorer of the Lightning to the Rangers for Ryan Callahan, as well as a 2014 second-round and 2015 first round pick.

“Obviously he’s a elite player, elite skill level and a great leader,” said New York Rangers head coach Alain Vignealt during today’s press conference. “I am very confident that he’s going to fit in here really well. Two parties weren’t very comfortable with what was being offered and at the end of the day, we all knew that this was a possibility. We were able to come away with a pretty good player for our team.”

New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to the media about Greenwich resident Martin St. Louis being traded to the team. — Paul Silverfarb photo

New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to the media about Greenwich resident Martin St. Louis being traded to the team. — Paul Silverfarb photo

The New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather said that Callahan and his agent were still too far apart on a contract extension and it was too far to come back.

“I think he’s terrific and the guy that’s coming in helps us advance farther than we expected to this year,” said President and Genreral Manager of the New York Rangers Glen Sather. “It’s not often you get the chance to acquire a guy like Marty St. Louis, a dynamic player in his own right.”

This season, St. Louis, 38, is having another standout season. He’s currently fifth in the NHL with 29 goals and also has 32 assists in 62 games played. He also has nine power play goals and is eighth in the league. His 29 goals led Tampa Bay this season.

“He’s in tremendous shape,” Sather said. “He lives in Connecticut and worked out with Brad Richards all summer. Everything that I have been told about him is that he’s a dynamic specimen, as far as his conditioning goes. He works hard at it and is dedicated. He’s always been the hardest working guy on the team he’s been on. I don’t think that’s going to change here. He’s going to be a inspiration to everybody in the club.”

The Rangers and Lightning are the first teams in around 25 years to trade a captain for a captain. While they both have the “C” on their chest, both players possess different styles of hockey.

“We are adding a player that has more of an offensive capability, without a doubt,” Vigneault said. “We are losing Cally’s grit and fire on the ice, but we are also adding an important part to our team. I honestly think that this makes us a better team. We have 20 games left and a lot of hockey to play. We are going to fight to get into the playoffs and put our best foot forward.”

For a player like Callahan, who has called the Rangers organization his home since his days with the Hartford Wolfpack back in 2006-07 season, Vigneault said that losing Callahan will have some impact on his Rangers, however bringing in a player like St. Louis is going to ease that transition.

“There’s no doubt that taking a player of that magnitude from our dressing room is going to have an impact,” Vigneault said. “With that said, we are adding a player that got great presence, he’s won a Cup and just came back from winning a gold medal for Canada. We are bringing in a really solid player and really solid individual.

“I think we should thank Ryan for everything he’s done for the New York Rangers,” added Vigneault. “The fans of the New York Rangers know him really well. He’s a solid person, a great player and a solid captain for us. This is part of a business, but I am very excited about having Martin St. Louis with us.”

For tonight’s game against Toronto Maple Leafs, the Rangers head coach said that St. Louis will be in the lineup and ready to play. He will be playing along side Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin and also with Derick Brassard’s line on the power play.

“He played last night, flew in here today and we are hoping he’s going to give us a good game,” Vigneault said. “I know he’s excited.”

For Sather, bringing in St. Louis is nothing but a positive opportunity for the Rangers, not only in the future, but for the present.

“There are a lot of contenders right now,” Sather said. “If you look around the league, it’s very close in each conference. Hopefully this is going to put us over the edge and make us a little closer to a obtaining our goal.”

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