Martin St. Louis retiring from NHL after 16 seasons

ByKatie Strang ESPN logo
Thursday, July 2, 2015

Martin St. Louis announced his retirement Thursday afternoon, hanging up the skates following a prolific 16-year career.

The Laval, Quebec, native finished with 391 goals and 642 assists in 1,134 regular-season games in the National Hockey League. The 40-year-old veteran, an undrafted free agent who had a standout career at the University of Vermont, won a Stanley Cup championship with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.

St. Louis won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player for the Lightning during their 2003-04 Cup-winning season, leading the league in assists (56) and points (94).

St. Louis had indicated that he wanted to continue playing, hitting the market as an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday, but instead he made the surprising decision to retire.

"I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride," said St. Louis in a statement released by the Rangers. "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."

St. Louis forced a trade to the Rangers in 2014 to give himself another shot at winning a Stanley Cup before his career ended. But New York came up three wins shy in 2013-14, and five wins shy in 2014-15.

St. Louis was largely a disappointment throughout the 2015 playoffs, recording only one goal and six assists in 19 games. He did not score in his first 15 games, and was demoted to the third line as a result. He was a minus-4 against the Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals, failing to capitalize on several Grade-A chances throughout the series.

In the 2014 postseason, St. Louis had a huge impact, scoring eight goals with seven assists. His overtime winner in Game 4 against Montreal in the Eastern Conference finals won't soon be forgotten.'s Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report.