Marty St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning is the gold standard of professional athletes. Not only hockey, but all. Nothing earned or presented can fully compensate Marty for what he’s contributed to professional sports. He is the epitome of the professional. What an exceptional role model for youngsters. Marty has demonstrated beyond any doubt that an athlete doesn’t have to resort to performance-enhancing drugs to reach the absolute pinnacle of his sport.
No other athlete in my memory, which spans 82 years, has overcome the obstacles Marty has. Many had determined him to be too small to be a competitive hockey player at any level. I doubt there has ever been a bigger “small man” in any sport.
His name defines perseverance and hard work. Add to that being the consummate gentleman, and you get the full view of Marty St. Louis. Being the gentleman he is hasn’t affected the intensity he brings to the game. He mixes it up with the best of them on the boards, but in my memory has never shed his gloves to settle a matter. A large part of that is the respect other players have for him.
It’s far beyond my comprehension why Marty was selected for the Canadian Olympic team on the “second round.” We all wanted Steve Stamkos to recover from his injury to also represent the Lightning in the Olympics, but that wasn’t to be. Marty earned the right to be selected in the “first round,” not as a replacement.
It would be a blessing to be able to watch the remainder of Marty St. Louis’s career and see him inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame, which he will be.