Martin St. Louis has had an illustrious career as an NHL player. Since breaking into the league back in 1998, St. Louis was always the little guy, but his hockey sense, star caliber, and leadership has made him one of the best teammates a player can have. He can easily motivate and energize a team, however, after the Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference Finals to Tampa Bay, he is being forced to ponder on his future.
With his 40th birthday coming up on June 18, St. Louis has a lot to think about. In an impressive 1,134 NHL games, Marty has tallied 391 and 1,033 points. He is an all star playing who definitely has had a hall of fame career. He has won a Stanley Cup back in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In 107 playoff games, St. Louis has 42 goals and 90 points. There is not one bad thing to say about his career or his skill.
He was a lifelong member of the Tampa Bay Lightning and served as their captain until back in the 2013-2014 season, he was traded to the New York Rangers. In a blockbuster trade that saw both teams swap captains with Ryan Callahan heading down to Tampa, St. Louis had a rough time adjusting to life in New York. When he finally got comfortable with his new teammates and new coach he was unstoppable.
During the 2013-2014 Rangers Cup run, in 25 games he tallied 15 points. He was one of the Blueshirts most consistent players during that playoff campaign. Without him, the Rangers may not have even made it to the Cup Final. Unfortunately, the Rangers’ luck ran out and lost in 5 games to the Los Angles Kings.
This year has been a struggle for Marty. In 74 games he had 21 goals and 52 points. His production certainly slowed down this year and his age started to show. For a player who shined in the postseason, St. Louis only had 1 goal and 7 points in 19 games. The playoffs certainly exposed Marty’s age and how much he had been struggling.
Now with cap issues during the offseason, the front office must decide what to do with Marty. He is due to be a free agent this offseason. At the age of 39 he has a big decision to make. It seems as if the Rangers are leaning towards not bringing him back and if they do, it must be for a cheap price. He has even stated he would take a pay cut in order to help the team and stay. He could go elsewhere and get his pay, but part of his trade to New York was to be closer to family.
He loves New York and the organization and the Rangers have been nothing but great to him since he has arrived. St. Louis is an all around great person, amazing leader on and off the ice, and a world class player. His resume speaks for itself. No doubt he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but that time is a little down the road. As for the present, St. Louis has a lot to ponder about his career and what is best for him.
He was quoted saying after being asked about his next step, “As you get older, you always think about the following year, the next year and everything. For me right now, of course I want to play, but I’m not sure which direction this team is going to go, either. So it’s tough to comment.”
What the future holds for Martin St. Louis and his career as a Blueshirt is up in the air. If Glen Sather decides to not bring him back, the Rangers will need to find someone to replace someone of his caliber. With tight cap space it may be tough. This offseason shall be interesting for New York.