Already the proud recipient of an Art Ross scoring title, the Lester B. Pearson Award, the Hart Trophy, two Lady Byng Awards, and of course, a Stanley Cup, Lightning forward Martin St. Louis
is looking to add some more hardware to his personal collection.
He'll have his chance this season, as the Tampa Bay chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association nominated the 36-year-old Bolts winger as the Lightning representative for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is given annually to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."
St. Louis’ nomination by the local chapter puts him in contention with 29 other nominees, one from each NHL club. From that group, three will be selected as finalists, with one winner being honored at the 2012 NHL Awards Show set to take place on Jun. 22 in Las Vegas. Voting is performed by the writers.
“It’s an honor,” St. Louis told The Tampa Tribune. “I definitely dedicate myself, and I think about the game quite a bit, sometimes too much. And the older you get, the more you have to train hard, and I feel like I’ve done that for many years now and I think it’s a big reason why I'm still playing.”
St. Louis, originally undrafted out of the University of Vermont, has gone on to a successful career with the Lightning. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
St. Louis’ commitment to hockey can be traced back more than a decade ago, when he struggled to earn a fair look by several NHL clubs. After a successful college career at the University of Vermont, where he was teammates with Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas and former Lightning forward Eric Perrin, St. Louis went undrafted and was then cut by the Calgary Flames following the 1999-00 season. He also held the NHL’s fourth-longest active consecutive games played streak at 499 until this past December when he was forced to miss time due to an eye injury.
“If you turn the page in the dictionary for that, his picture is probably right there,” Bolts head coach Guy Boucher added. “In tough times, in good times, his ability to show his passion and pull guys in his direction, that's a tough one to bear and very few guys have that.”