The Tampa Bay Lightning announced via Twitter on Tuesday morning that a new captain was going to be named.
The 7:30 announcement was going to take place at Mahaffey Theatre in front of a crowd of select season ticket members and various media in the Tampa Bay area. At 7:30, Bolts owner Jeff Vinik, took the stage to a standing ovation from the crowd. He was followed by GM Steve Yzerman and various other front office members. Over the next hour they spoke about the team and the future of the team before they announced who the new captain would be.
Finally, at around 8:45, after Lightning fans were sent into a Twitter refresh jail, the moment we were waiting for finally came in. Coach Jon Cooper made the annoucement everyone was hoping for, Martin St. Louis was the ninth captain of the team! Steven Stamkos would stay an alternate captain, but the Alaskan’s Nate Thompson and Matt Carle would be receiving A’s as well.
St. Louis, 38, is the Lightning’s all-time leader for points with 892, assists with 556 and shorthanded goals with 28. He ranks second for games played with 910, goals with 336, power-play goals with 87 and game-winning goals with 59. St. Louis is Tampa Bay’s all-time post-season leader with 63 games played, 33 goals, 35 assists, 68 points, 10 power-play goals, three shorthanded goals, eight game-winning goals and three overtime winners.
The biggest overtime goal in his career was one of the team’s most iconic moments. It came when the Bolts were trailing the Flames three games to two in the 2004 Stanley Cup final. The team was facing elimination when St. Louis scored 33 seconds into a double overtime game to force a Game 7. As we all know, the Bolts would go on to win that game, bringing the Stanley Cup to Florida for the first time.
The six-time NHL All-Star has filled his trophy case over this thirteen year tenure in Tampa Bay. The same year he helped the team win the cup he was awared the Hart Trophy as league MVP, the Lester B. Pearson award for most oustanding player, and the Plus/Minus award for having the NHL’s highest plus/minus rating. All-around good guy, St. Louis is also a three-time recipient of the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmenship, and twice he has won the Art Ross trophy as the league’s top scorer.
Since his signing as a free agent on July 31, 2000 the Laval, Québec native has been a major asset to the Lightning organization and the Tampa area. St. Louis has represented Canada many times, from the 2006 Winter Olympics, to the World Cup of Hockey in 2008, and the 2008 and 2009 IIHF World Championships. He was even invited to the Olympic Orientation Camp in preperation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
PREVIOUS LIGHTNING CAPTAINS:
- Paul Ysebaert: 1995-98
- Mikael Renberg: 1997-98
- Rob Zamuner: 1998-99
- Bill Houlder: 1999-00
- Chris Gratton: 1999-00
- Dave Andreychuk: 2002-06
- Tim Taylor: 2006-08
- Vincent Lecavalier: 1999-01 – 2008-13