The tale of two Marty's
If anything gives the perfect glimpse at the change in mentality for the Tampa Bay Lightning over the course of the last five months, it's right wing Martin St. Louis' remarks to Scott Burnside this weekend at Ice Sports Forum:
"It's nice to be a Tampa Bay Lightning again. That means a lot."
To give a glimpse of St. Louis' despair going into the 2010 offseason, one only has to journey back to April 14th, when Marty made public his anxiousness regarding the direction the Lightning would take in 2010-11:
"I want to be on a winning team," he said. "It's three years of this and (we're going) back to square one, so I want to be on a winning team. That's the biggest thing. I'm not getting any younger. We'll see how it all shakes out this summer."
Burnside's article gives full credit to Steve Yzerman for bringing back the Lightning from the mire that it was in. The braintrust he's built, the culture he is installing at 401 Channelside Drive. Of course, the changes in mentality started at the top and worked on down. What was such an unknown commodity going into the 2010 offseason - owner Jeffrey Vinik, and his immediate intentions for the club - has turned into a confidence builder.