Martin St. Louis walks away from the New York Rangers and into the sunset having left every last ounce of effort on the NHL ice.
Derek Sutton of Youngblood fame said it best: “Thank God there is a sport for middle-sized white boys.”
Looking back on a brilliant NHL career, it is time for Toronto to prepare for Martin St. Louis to take his place among the greats.
From an undrafted free agent to perennial all star, St. Louis is exactly the player the Hockey Hall of Fame needs to welcome with open arms.
His resume includes a Stanley Cup Ring, over 1,000 games played, over 1,000 points, 2 Art Ross Trophies (scoring leader), 1 Hart Trophy (MVP), 3 Lady Byng Trophies (gentlemanly player) and a 6 time All-Star. Throw in a 2014 Olympic gold medal and you have a career any hockey player would sign up for.
Doing all this at 5’8” took every ounce of passion and effort St. Louis could muster to achieve a Hall of Fame career.
The outpouring of praise for St. Louis after he announced his retirement just solidifies the impact he had on the game.
Steven Stamkos had this to say about his former mentor, as per Pierre LuBrun of ESPN:
“In terms of the player and person I became today, everything is directly influenced from Martin St. Louis. You heard all the stories about how great he was and how hard he worked, but to actually physically see it as an 18-year-old kid, that really opened my eyes of how hard you have to work and how dedicated you have to be to be an elite player in the league. It just blew my mind. It was easy for me to follow in his footsteps. And he went out of his way to make me feel comfortable. He really taught me what it was to be a pro. I owe a lot to him.”
MSL played with a chip on his shoulder from going undrafted to being dismissed by Calgary early in his career. He turned that chip into a burning desire to prove everyone wrong and become not only a star, but a Hall of Fame player that every player looked up to, instead of down on (literally).
As a New York Rangers fan there is only one regret I had watching St. Louis play, and that is that he did not force that trade a couple years earlier.
Thank you Martin St. Louis for giving everything you had to the game of hockey and leaving it all on the ice. The Hall of Fame will be a better place the day your plaque hangs on the wall.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 2, 2015
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