Martin St. Louis retires after 16 seasons; Hall of Fame worthy?

Martin St. Louis retires after 16 seasons; Hall of Fame worthy?

The market was going to dictate Martin St. Louis’s future in the National Hockey League as a 40-year-old forward.

The market spoke, St. Louis heard it and decided that 16 seasons was long enough to call it a career, officially retiring from the NHL on Thursday.

“I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride,” he said, through the New York Rangers, his final NHL team.

The winger split from the Rangers after the season, the team having acquired St. Louis from the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014 in a blockbuster deal. He struggled offensively last season, with 21 goals and 31 assists in 74 games, the lowest offensive numbers he posted in nine years.

According to the New York Post, the Rangers didn’t have a desire to bring him back for his expected cap hit for 2015-16 – St. Louis had just finished a 4-year deal with an average hit of $5.625 million – and St. Louis was unhappy with the way he was used in the postseason, where he scored one goal and six assists in 19 games in 16:30 of average ice time.

With his family in Connecticut – they were a reason St. Louis requested and received a trade from Tampa Bay to New York, along with lingering bitterness from a Canadian Olympic team snub – he wanted to sign on with a team that was geographically close to home. But despite sniffs from the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils, St. Louis opted to retire instead rather than presumably sign for significantly less than his salary last year.

He retires after having been one of the most explosive point-producers on the wing in recent NHL history, despite being one of its most diminutive stars, at a listed height of 5-foot-8.

He was a human pinball during his 13 years with the Lightning, bounding around the offensive zone off bigger bodies, finding his space an burying a lethal one-timer for 365 goals in 972 games. On top of that, he was instant offense for his linemates, with 588 assists during that stretch with Tampa. Overall, he had 1,033 points in 1,134 games, winning the Art Ross as the League’s top scorer in 2004 and 2013, and the both the Hart Trophy and Pearson Trophy (now the Ted Lindsay) for NHL MVP and NHLPA player of the year, respectively. He also collected the Lady Byng Trophy three times (2010, 2011, 2013) for his gentlemanly play, and won Olympic godl in Sochi.

Is he a Hall of Famer? Statistically, St. Louis didn’t hit 1,100 points or 400 goals, which are commonplace benchmarks. He finished with 391 goals.

But it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t meet part of the standards, as a Stanley Cup champion in 2004 with the Lightning, as an inspiring player given his vertical challenges and as a dedicated professional (outside of his falling out with the Lightning).

Fare thee well, Marty St. Louis. We’ll always remember your thighs.

Via Deadspin
Via Deadspin

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