(photo: The Tampa Tribune)
“Before the game, some guys get psyched up from the music while others get it from the chanting of the crowd. Some get it from listening to the coach’s pep talk and some listen to nothing at all. There is only one sound that makes me fired up, the voices of every person who said I was too small to make it.”
– Martin St. Louis
Forward Martin St. Louis announced his retirement Thursday. He had 21 goals and 52 points in 74 games with the New York Rangers last season, the final year of his contract.
“I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride,” St. Louis said in a release issued by the Rangers. “I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.”
“I have had the good fortune of working with some incredible players and trainers throughout my career who I am grateful to also call good friends. I am also thankful to all of the fans who have supported me through the years; it has meant so much to me. I have dedicated my life to being the best player I could be and now want to turn more of my focus to my three boys. I look forward to this next chapter of my life and the time I will have with my family.”
St. Louis, who turned 40 last month, had 391 goals and 1,033 points in 1,134 regular-season games in 16 seasons with the Calgary Flames, Lightning and Rangers. In 2004 he won the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award while helping the Lightning win the Stanley Cup.
In 2012-13, he led the League with 60 points in 48 games, and at age 37 became the oldest player to win the Ross. St. Louis also won the Lady Byng Trophy three times, and skated in the NHL All-Star Game six times.
Next stop: The Hockey Hall of Fame.