Most of the videos we put up are usually of great hockey highlights of our favorite players doing something spectacular. Today’s Video Of Day isn’t one of those. This video has circulated around for a few days. So, of course I’ve seen it and was wowed by it.
Martin St. Louis retired a few days ago. The future Hall Of Famer was a classic overachiever going from undrafted out of Vermont to an All-Star who won the Hart and Pearson while leading the Lightning to Lord Stanley in 2004. He did it all winning two scoring titles and putting up great numbers which will result in his election to Toronto a few years from now. It’ll be well deserved.
What I admired about St. Louis was how hard he worked. Not the biggest in stature, he was a miracle who combined world class skill with grit to become one of the league’s best players. Over the last year after he came over to the Rangers for Ryan Callahan, we learned just how tough he is. How much heart he showed playing in Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Semifinal with his team facing elimination. They would respond with a resounding 5-1 win and comeback to stun the Pens in seven. There was St. Louis scoring an emotional goal at the start of Game 6 fittingly on Mother’s Day with myself, Dad, Justin and Mike at MSG going wild. You had to be there to see it.
His final act didn’t go according to plan because most don’t. That’s why players we root for retire. Truth be told, I’m sure St. Louis wanted to still play. But a poor showing in the postseason hurt his market value. And being so close to his family in Greenwich, Connecticut, he didn’t have many options. So, he realized it was time. As hard a decision as there is in sports. These guys live out a childhood dream. They play a sport they loved for money. But most of all, the chance to be the best and to win. Something St. Louis succeeded at. Even if he fell short with his Rangers teammates, it was a fun ride. As riveting as that Game 4 overtime winner which he went top shelf on Dustin Tokarski in the Eastern Conference Final. Mom France must’ve been proud.
So, what we’re left with is a nice video the NHL put up of St. Louis taking roll call before a playoff game. Here, you see him firing up his teammates in the Rangers locker room. The energy and excitement is palpable. The enthusiasm is everywhere. It might not have been the easiest final postseason for him but that 39-year old sure had fun. That’s what you need to be successful. Just the smiles and laughs told us everything we need to know. Martin St. Louis is a winner.