Seven-time NHL All-Star right wing and former NHL MVP Martin St. Louis announced his retirement on July 2.
Martin St. Louis has retired from the National Hockey League (NHL).
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St. Louis, who last played for the New York Rangers, made the announcement on the NHL Players Association's official website on July 2:
"I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. 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 it 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 of my life and the time I will have with my family."
According to ESPN's Katie Strang, the 40-year-old St. Louis had hinted he still wanted to play, but had a change of heart this week.
Former Lightning team captain Dave Andreychuk told The Tampa Bay Times' Tom Jones on July 2 the organization "would not be where it is today" had it not been for St. Louis, who spent more than 12 years of his 16 NHL seasons in Tampa Bay:
"The Lightning organization would not be where it is today without Marty St. Louis. I truly believe that.
"He's a guy that everyone always wanted to be around.
"I think he could still play if he really wanted to. But it would have to have been the perfect situation. It's too bad. It's unfortunate. I'm sure it's a sad day for him.
"It's a sad day for all of us."
Another former Lightning captain, Vincent Lecavalier (now with the Philadelphia Flyers) told Jones he remembers how hilarious St. Louis was when they were teammates.
"A lot of people don't realize what a great sense of humor he has," Lecavalier said. "He's hilarious. And a prankster."
Andreychuk agreed with Lecavalier's assessment, per The Tampa Bay Times.
Current Lightning team captain Steven Stamkos told Jones during the playoffs how much he admires St. Louis:
"He was a guy that took me under his wing since I was 18 years old. He's the ultimate competitor, the ultimate professional. I mean, you could go on and on with how well he conducts himself."
The Calgary Flames signed the 5'8" St. Louis in 1998, inspiring short hockey players to excel at the NHL level, per the league's official website.
After two seasons in Calgary, St. Louis signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he would spend the next 13 seasons. He had his best season during the 2003-04 NHL season with Tampa Bay where he led the league with 94 points and 56 assists on his way to earning the Hart Memorial Trophy and the then-Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award), per NHL.com.
That was also the same season St. Louis helped the Lightning win their first Stanley Cup title.
St. Louis was the Lightning's team captain during the 2013-14 NHL season. Tampa Bay traded him to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan in March 2014. St. Louis benefited from the change of scenery as he lives in nearby Connecticut and had always wanted to play for the Rangers, per NHL.com.
St. Louis was instrumental in helping the Rangers earn a trip to the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the eventual champions Los Angeles Kings. When he scored during New York's 3-1 Game 6 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of that year's playoffs, the Madison Square Garden crowd chanted, "Marty! Marty!" as a show of support three days after his mother died of a heart attack.
That memorable moment coincided with Mother's Day 2014, per NHL.com.
St. Louis was a seven-time NHL All-Star. He also scored at least 30 goals seven times during his 16-year NHL career. He also represented Canada in the Winter Olympics, the World Cup of Hockey and the World Championship, per the league's official website.
St. Louis amassed 391 goals and 642 assists for 1,033 points in 1,134 career regular-season games for the Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers, per ESPN stats.
The NHL Players Association press release mentions St. Louis three sons Ryan (12), Lucas (10) and Mason (7) "are aspiring hockey players themselves."
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