(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
He really had no other choice.
Not coming back to the Rangers, future Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis realized the market for a declining right ring pushing 40 was rather thin and announced his retirement.
“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.
“I have had the good fortune of working with some incredible players and trainers throughout my career who I am grateful to also call good friends. I am also thankful to all of the fans who have supported me through the years; it has meant so much to me. I have dedicated my life to being the best player I could be and now want to turn more of my focus to my three boys. I look forward to this next chapter of my life and the time I will have with my family.”
St. Louis finished his career with 391 goals and 642 assists for 1,033 points in 1134 regular season games spread over 16 National Hockey League seasons. He played right wing for the Calgary Flames (1998-2000), the Tampa Bay Lightning (2000-14), and the New York Rangers (2014-15), leaves the game having been named to seven NHL All-Star Games, while earning All NHL Second Team honors four times and All NHL First Team honors once.
The right wing struggled this season down the stretch and in the playoffs being demoted to the third line. It was obvious that he was missing a step and didn’t have the same sharp timing that he had in the past.
The Rangers parted ways with St. Louis, saying that will not re-sign him, but he wanted to test the market. When there was not a lot available, he announced his retirement.
St. Louis won two Art Ross Trophies as the league’s leading scorer (2003-04 and 2012-13) and he won three Lady Byng Memorial Trophies (2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13) for his “sportsmanship and gentlemanly play combined with a high standard of playing ability.” He also led the league in assists in 2003-04 (56) and 2012-13 (43 in 48 games played).