Lightning to retire Martin St. Louis’ No. 26 this season

Martin St. Louis had a tough time controlling his emotions in Tampa after being honoured with a video-montage tribute by the Lightning.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are set to honour former captain Martin St. Louis.

The Lightning will retire St. Louis’ No. 26 on Friday, January 13, 2017, chairman and governor Jeff Vinik announced today.

“Everyone in the organization is excited to celebrate and thank Marty for his immense long-term contributions to the Lightning’s past successes and the Tampa Bay community,” said Vinik. “As Marty enters his second year in retirement from the game, we believe this season is the time to hang his number from the rafters at AMALIE Arena.

“Marty had a terrific career in Tampa Bay, making six All-Star appearances while setting numerous team records, all highlighted of course by the Stanley Cup win in 2004. We look forward to a wonderful retirement ceremony, recognizing him for all that he accomplished as a member of the Lightning.”

St. Louis is the organization’s all-time leading scorer with 365 goals and 953 in 972 games as a member of the Lightning. His No. 26 sweater will be the first one raised to the rafter in Lightning franchise history.

The 41-year-old native of Laval, Quebec, captured the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer on two occasions (2003-04 and 2012-13.) St. Louis was the recipient of the Hart Memorial Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Trophy in 2004 and is a three-time Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winnner.

The Lightning will face the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 13. Former Lightning coach John Tortorella is set to be behind the bench for the Blue Jackets. Tortorella coached St. Louis and the Lightning to a Stanley Cup championship in 2004.

“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.

“I am happy I will get to share the evening with all the Lightning fans who have always supported me throughout my career – Tampa Bay will always feel like home to me. Additionally, I recognize that none of this would have been possible without the help of many great teammates, trainers, and coaches and I thank them.”

The Lightning signed St. Louis as a free agent in 2000.

St. Louis scored 391 goals and totalled 1,033 points in 1,134 career games with the Calgary Flames, Lightning, and New York Rangers.

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