Martin St. Louis. So much can be said about the Alternate Captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning. When I hear the name Marty St. Louis, I think passion, heart, leadership, EXAMPLE. Great father, epic smile, amazing player. Over all wonderful man. Iron man. When you hear the heart and soul of the team, you think Marty St. Louis. When you hear Lady Bing, you think Marty St. Louis. When you hear the leadership of the Tampa Bay Lightning, you think Marty St. Louis. Marty St. Louis, not Vincent Lecavalier.
St. Louis is 37 years old. When his contract is up in 2015, he will be 40 years old. Call me crazy, but I think it’s safe to assume he will retire at that time. However, if someone can play accurately past the age of 40, Marty would be the man to do it. Unfortunately he doesn’t have that much ice time left. He has been a solid rock for the team, and he has the ‘A’ to show for it. He certainly deserves to wear the ‘C’.
Marty would rather pass the puck off and assist with a goal, letting the other player register the point. He has got to be the most unselfish guy in the league. He has 852 total career points. 323 of those are goals, and 529 are assists. Those aren’t bad numbers for a career of 13 years! Only an incident with a puck to the eye broke his Iron Man game streak.
His is a story to tell. A man who beat the odds, and didn’t believe it when people told him that he would never make in the NHL because of his size. Standing at 5’8″, he is not as tall as most hockey players. What he lacks in height, he makes up for in skill. He kept trying with determination like no other, and he made it. He is the backbone of the Bolts. I think just about anyone would agree with that.
It’s not that I don’t like Vincent Lecavalier. He’s a great guy too, and I have nothing against him. (Except maybe his ridiculous contract. But that wasn’t his fault. I mean seriously, you’d have to be stupid not to agree to a contract like that when presented to you!) Vinny is loyal to Tampa Bay, and has said on many occasion that he wants to stay planted in the community and retire here. He wants to raise his children here. He loves his team. I just don’t think that he is the great leader who deserves to wear the ‘C’ on his uniform. I have personally observed more leadership quality from Dwayne Roloson than Vinny. I mean sure, Roli has that veteran presence, but his over-all demeanor takes command when he’s on the ice. Vinny’s not so much. I was at a practice last year and Roli had the guys lined up, and was barking orders at them; telling them what drills to do. He takes the time to work with the guys who need help, with patience that I could never posses. (Like with Brett Connolly.) Vinny entered the rink a few minutes later. He, as the leader, should have taken charge and lead the drills from that point on, correct? Nope. He just fell in line and took instruction from Roli like the rest. I can’t say that I’ve actually ever seen him take the lead. With that said, I’ve only seen what I’ve seen at open practices and not closed practices or behind closed doors in the locker room. To me, the leadership role of the team is as important, if not more important, in the locker room.
The bottom line is that Vinny will be playing on the team for several more years. Switch the ‘A’ and the ‘C’ for the next 2 seasons and let the true leader, Martin St. Louis, have the Captain’s position that he deserves.