LIGHTNING RE-SIGN 2004 HART TROPHY WINNER MARTIN ST. LOUIS
The 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed restricted free agent right wing Martin St. Louis to a six-year contract, Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster announced today. In accordance with club policy, financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
St. Louis, 30, captured the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP), Art Ross Trophy (scoring leader) and Lester B. Pearson Award (MVP as chosen by the players) in 2003-04 after recording 38 goals, 56 assists and 94 points in 82 games. He totaled nine goals and 24 points during the Lightning's march to the 2004 Stanley Cup, and he forced a Game 7 in the Finals with a goal in the second overtime period of Game 6. His other 2003-04 NHL accomplishments included being named a First Team NHL All-Star, playing in his first NHL All-Star Game, and twice being named NHL Offensive Player of the Month.
"I've said it many times in the past and I continue to maintain that Martin St. Louis is the 'heart and soul' of our hockey team,' Feaster said. "Dating all the way back to the Summer of 2004, there was never a moment when we were not firmly committed as an organization to getting Marty signed long-term. The fact that he was willing to take less and give up the chance to explore unrestricted free agency demonstrates his commitment to our team, his teammates, our franchise and our incredible fans. We are thrilled to know that not only our MVP, but the NHL's MVP, is back in the fold and will be here in Tampa Bay for a very long time."
A 5-foot-9, 185-pound native of Laval, Quebec, St. Louis signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent prior to the 2000-01 season and has tallied 105 goals and 239 points in 295 games in a Lightning uniform. After suffering a broken leg in the 2001-02 season that forced him to miss nearly 20 games, he returned stronger the next season and set career highs with 33 goals and 70 points while playing in all 82 games.
Prior to signing with the Lightning, St. Louis played parts of two seasons with the Calgary Flames after a standout four-year career at the University of Vermont. While at Vermont St. Louis tallied 267 points in 139 games, leading the team in scoring each season, and was a three-time finalist for the Hobey Baker Award (nation's top collegiate player).
St. Louis also helped Canada capture the 2004 World Cup of Hockey with two goals and four points in six games, and he recently participated in Team Canada's Winter Olympic evaluation camp in British Columbia. He spent 2004-05 playing for Lausanne in Switzerland where he recorded nine goals and 25 points in 23 games.