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Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times talks about how Martin St. Louis is the odd man out under the Salary Cap - as has already been discussed by everyone in LightningNation to one extent or another. He's in a tight spot with money due him (and I do feel it's due him) and money the team can pay.

Marty broke in with the Lightning after signing for the league minimum in 2000-01... ($225,000 ) Bolts fans saw flashes of brilliance during his first season, notching 18 goals with 22 assists in 78 games with the team. The next season -- he broke through even more before breaking his leg... His stats (16 goals, 19 assists, 53 games) don't tell the tale of how much of an impact he had on games he played.

He was "rewarded" for his efforts during the 2002 off season with a 2 year contract that paid him 2.5 million dollars... And if stats tell you anything, Martin was being lowballed in his "reward." 2 seasons, 164 points, a Hart Trophy and Stanley Cup later...

Martin's big payday could have materialized pre-lockout but was gambled away with thanks to the lockout. His agent had been negotiating with Jay Feaster in September 2004 and yet talks stalled and then broke off due to the uncertainty.

Now St. Louis becomes the prime example of life under the Cap. He's not Terrell Owens - trying to dictate his pay and make a spectacle out of himself for the sum of himself. He's a team player and he's shown that time and time again...

I don't know what else to say -- life under the cap is not supposed to be free market spending galore (as Brad Richards had speculated if there was no cap). Even without the cap, the Lightning would be in a bind to find the money to divide between Marty and Vinny and other players who will become Free Agents next year...

Marty's taken one for the team before and will be forced to do it again -- even if that team isn't the Lightning.