By Trevor Grout
It has now been 22 days since Lightning captain Martin St Louis was traded to the Rangers for their captain Ryan Callahan. While St Louis hasn't been lighting the lamp in New York, Callahan has fit in quite nicely with Tampa Bay. Bolts Head Coach Jon Cooper joined The Sports Page this morning on WDAE, and said he was happy with the overall production Callahan has brought to this young team.
"He's brought a lot actually he's a pretty impressive kid," Cooper explained, "Especially coming into a situation where one of the idols of the franchise being moved for him."
With Vincent Lecavalier released last July and St. Louis traded earlier this month, the final two members of the 2004 Stanley Cup team are now gone, but Cooper says the players who have joined the organization in their absence are playing at a commendable level.
"I really think about in the last year how we lose Vinny Lecavalier, obviously it was a business transaction what happened there," Cooper said, "And Valtteri Filppula comes in not necessarily as a replacement by any means. He's been unbelievable dealing with that and unbelievable for our team."
The second year Lightning coach compared the releasing of Lecavalier and signing of Filppula to the St. Louis trade for Callahan.
"I think it's very similar to the Ryan Callahan situation, but in Ryan's situation he really didn't have control of and he gets traded here and has done nothing but impress." Cooper said, "Something our team has needed he's an unreal player below the dots. He does all these things that probably don't show up on the stat sheet, but are pivotal to us winning hockey games."
To hear the conversation with Coach Cooper in its entirety, click the player below: