March 26, 2013; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis (26) reacts after he scored a goal during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Marty St. Louis: The Benchmark of NHL Success


Based upon the results of yesterday’s draft, there could be few GM’s second-guessing their picks today, a few scouts wondering if their team’s selection will deliver on their potential, and a few fans saying, “Huh? They picked him?”

And while the debates could go on for months or years, there’s really only one NHL player who should be used as the benchmark when evaluating potential hockey talent and draft success. And that’s Martin St. Louis.

For all of the scouts who attend countless games, review hours of video, participate in combines, and interview players, families, and former coaches — get over it. Of course all of that matters for comparative purposes.

However, the driving factors for long-term success in the NHL are not the tangible aspects of a player’s game; they’re the intangible components of a player’s heart and soul.

That’s why undrafted Marty St. Louis is hockey’s benchmark. What group of “experts” passed over a six-time NHL All-Star selection, three Lady Byng’s, a Lester B. Pearson Award, two Art Ross Trophy’s, a Hart Memorial Trophy, in addition to several other honors, not the least of which is having your name engraved on a Stanley Cup?

Most likely those that failed to draft one of the greatest hockey players of all time weren’t looking for the intangibles of respect for the game, leadership, character, drive and determination, and a strong work ethic — distinctive trademarks of the Lightning legend.

So while all thirty franchises may be praising their draft picks today, I wonder how many of them found the character as well as the skill of a Marty St. Louis.

Tags: 2013 NHL Draft Martin St Louis National Hockey League Tampa Bay Lightning