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Stamkos, St. Louis and Lecavalier won’t bolt for Europe...yet

Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos

Tampa Bay Lightning players, from left, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier skate on the ice in their new uniforms during a news conference in Tampa, Fla., Monday, Jan. 31, 2011. The team will begin wearing the new uniforms for the 2011-2012 season. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)


Given the large number of skilled players offered work overseas, you’d think the Tampa Bay trio of Steve Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier would be in hot demand.

And they very well might be. But for now, all three are sticking in North America.

That was the word out of Tampa on Tuesday as the trio stated its collective desire to stay home and wait for a new CBA to be reached.

“Whenever we do start, and I don’t care what you did all summer, when you get into getting hit, it takes you about two weeks to catch up,” St. Louis told the Tampa Tribune. “But once you get into games, it’s like (the snap of a finger). It comes back, so I’m not too worried about that.”

St. Louis, 37, has toyed with the notion of going to Europe, but has stayed back in part because of his family. During the last lockout, he played for HC Lausanne of the Swiss National League “A”.

On Monday, Stamkos and Lecavalier -- who played for AK Bars of the Russian league in 2004-05 -- also re-iterated their desire to stay home rather than play abroad.

Player agent Mark Guy confirmed that Stamkos will continue to workout in his hometown near Toronto, while Lecavalier told the paper he’s hopeful the season will start soon, given how close the two sides are.

“If you do the math (on CBA negotiations) it’s not that far apart,” he explained.

“We’ll see what the week brings. I still like to think that there is reason to be optimistic.”