Saturday, January 14, 2017

Martin St. Louis Gives Emotional Speech Before His Number is Retired in Tampa

Martin St. Louis is the first player to have his jersey raised to the rafters in Tampa Bay Lightning history. And in a heartfelt speech the veteran of 1,034 games and scorer of 1,033 points paid fitting tribute to his mother.

It was a beautiful, moving speech from the player that was the pulse of the Lightning for 13 seasons. It's not the first time he's given thanks to his mother. She died at the age of 63 from a heart attack, less than three years ago.

St. Louis also wrote about his mother for the Players' Tribune in 2015, if you'd like some back story on his career, and the role his mother played in it.

St. Louis played 972 games with the Lightning where he won the Hart Trophy, the Art Ross twice and three Lady Byngs. In 2004, he became the eighth player in NHL history to win the Art Ross and Hart Trophies and the Stanley Cup in the same season, and the first to do so since Wayne Gretzky in 1986–87

He also won the Cup with the Lightning in 2004 under coach John Tortorella, who was on hand for the festivities on Friday.

Columbus got the 3-1 win over Tampa, but it was the ceremony and the celebration of St.Louis' career (and mother) that was the big winner on this evening. St. Louis was an undrafted player who was overlooked because of his diminutive stature, but the Laval, Quebec native inspired by showing hockey fans and young players that it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.