Martin St-Louis has played his final game in the NHL.
The 40-year-old announced Thursday that 2014-15 was his final season in the NHL and, in a release by the New York Rangers, announced that he is retiring from the game. There’s little doubt St-Louis will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he could very well be a first-ballot inductee.
“I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride,” St. Louis said in statement. “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.”
For more than a decade, St-Louis has been one of the brightest stars in the game. Signed by the Calgary Flames as an undrafted free agent out of the NCAA’s University of Vermont, it took St. Louis three seasons to finally crack the Flames roster, but he was let go by the club heading into the off-season following the 1999-00 season. Hindsight being what it is, the move may very well be one of the worst in Flames history, as St-Louis signed a deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning and became a bona fide star.
While his first two seasons in Tampa Bay were breakout years to be sure – he posted campaigns of 18 goals and 40 points and 16 goals and 35 points – it was the 2002-03 season when St-Louis really hit his stride. That season, he broke out for 33 goals and 70 points, and the rest is history.
In 2003-04, St-Louis tore up the league for 38 goals and 94 points as he captured the Art Ross Trophy, Hart Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, a berth on the first all-star team. In the post-season, he registered nine goals and 24 points as the Lightning downed the Flames in seven games to capture the franchise’s first and only Stanley Cup.
St-Louis would go on to capture another Art Ross in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, when he registered a gaudy 17 goals and 60 points in 48 games as a 37-year-old. He also captured three Lady Byng Trophies for gentlemanly play.
In 2013-14, St-Louis requested a trade out of Tampa Bay and was subsequently dealt to the Rangers at the trade deadline. He made an immediate impact, helping the club go on a deep post-season run that culminated in the Stanley Cup final. Unfortunately for St-Louis and the Rangers, the Los Angeles Kings downed the Blueshirts in five games, leaving St-Louis without a second Stanley Cup victory. He did however return for one last season in New York, posting 21 goals and 52 points in 74 games this past season.
St-Louis ends his career ranked 70th all-time in scoring with 1,033 points in 1,134 games. He ranks 63rd all-time in assists with 642 and 99th in goals with 391 over the course of his career.
In addition to his accomplishments in the NHL, St-Louis also has an Olympic gold medal on his resume as a member of the Canadian squad at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In addition to the Olympic gold, St-Louis has a World Cup of Hockey gold and two World Championship silver medals.
“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," St-Louis added in his statement. "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.”