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Lightning to Retire MSL's #26


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St. Louis, signed by the Lightning as a free agent on July 31, 2000, currently ranks first in team history for points (953), assists (588), short-handed goals (28), game winning goals (64), hat tricks (8 - tied with Steven Stamkos), and power play points (300). He also ranks second in goals scored with 365, behind Vincent Lecavalier's 383 goals, and also second for games played with 972.

"To have my number retired by the Lightning is a tremendous honor and I'd like to thank Jeff Vinik and everyone in the organization for recognizing me this way," said St. Louis. "I have many great memories in Tampa Bay, including our great Stanley Cup win, and this night will be extremely special and emotional for my family and me.  


Tremendous honor for my fellow Catamount alumni.

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Honestly, I expect nothing less from the Lightning.


Let's face it:

Putting aside the drama that ensued when St. Louis was traded to NY, Marty has been absolutely instrumental in not only helping to deliver TB's first and only SC in 2004, but keeping the team respectable (remember, TB was the league laughing stock for many years before that), from the time they won the Cup to this day.


Even in his being traded, Marty brought back a player in Ryan Callahan who, while not in Marty's class as far as offense and goal scoring, still is a major contributor in other areas, particularly leadership and line versatility, and the team continues to be a contender.


And the thing is, it was NOT just all a one-way street with the Bolts being eternally indebted to St. Louis.

Lest we forget that NO ONE wanted MSL and the Bolts gave him a full time opportunity to be a star in the NHL after Marty's last team, the Flames, gave up on him.


So, in the end, I think MSL was good for the Bolts, and TB was certainly good for MSL.


Yes, I STILL DO think trading St. Louis for Callahan was the best Yzerman could do in the given situation at the time, but that doesn't diminish, in any way, what the small dynamic forward has meant to the organization.


Jersey retirement is well deserved.


Now I wish I had picked up one of those MSL #26 jerseys that were on clearance when the Bolts first traded him........ hmmm, Amazon perhaps? ;)

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