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St. Louis talks retirement, career, Rangers

by Dan Rosen

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Martin St. Louis on Monday made his first public comments since announcing his retirement in a press release July 2. He spoke about why he decided to retire and what he will be doing now in this story.

There was, however, more to St. Louis' near 20-minute press conference. Here are some more quotes and tidbits from St. Louis:

St. Louis said the fact that he is a retired hockey player has already hit him because he has so much free time this summer.

"It's the first time in my life there is no agenda," he said. "I don't have to go training. I don't have to answer to anybody. It's actually a really nice place to be. I have enjoyed being with my kids. Every summer I am anyway, but when you're training, you're preparing for a season there is always a little stress that comes with that in the preparation, are you ready, are you not ready, are you doing everything you can. Now there is none of that. None of that crosses my mind. It's definitely a great place to be."

Regarding his struggles in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season (one goal on 32 shots in 19 games), St. Louis said his inability to score did not weigh into his decision to retire.

"Honestly, no it didn't," he said. "I had a lot of great scoring chances early on and it just wasn't going in. It kind of compounded from there. I probably got inside my head a little bit. But no, I can sit here and be proud that my last year I scored 21 goals and the year before I scored 30. Do I still think I can play? Yeah. But it's time to move on."

St. Louis described his short time with the New York Rangers, who acquired him from the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 5, 2014.

"Playing here in New York City, playing in Madison Square Garden, the playoff runs we had in both years, I felt I had a chance both years to win a Cup," he said. "It didn't happen, but my teammates were unbelievable. The organization was great with everything I've gone through in such a short period of time. Obviously, last year losing my mom in the middle of a playoff run, the way the organization handled everything -- I know I've only played parts of two years here but it feels like I've been here for at least five with everything that happened. I wouldn't change anything. Of course I would have liked to win a Cup. It's a tough thing to do. You can do everything right and still not win it, and I really felt that's how it was. I'll cherish those two years. Scoring a goal at Madison Square Garden in the playoffs against Montreal, that's one of the highlights of my career. I'm glad I got to experience that and have my family be a part of it, especially in New York, where this is home moving forward."

He was asked what he is most proud of from his playing career.

"I tell you what, the day I retired obviously with social media and everything, there were a lot of kind messages from players I've played with and players I never played with," St. Louis said. "Hockey is a team sport and I always felt the No. 1 thing was to be a good teammate. I can honestly say I was a good teammate. Regardless of the individual success or the team success, I can say I was a good teammate. I'm proud of that."

And, finally, St. Louis offered his thoughts on the Rangers going forward without him.

"I think this team is in great shape," he said. "First and foremost, you've got Henrik Lundqvist in net. You've got great defensemen. I always felt to have success in this League you build from the back end out, and this team is built for that. This team is built to make a deep playoff run. You always are going to have some movement because of the cap and you've seen that already this summer, but you have a strong core group that facilitate the transition for some of the players coming in, like we did last year. I mean, we were one game away from going to the Stanley Cup Final again, and if you had thought back in September with a bunch of new players that we had, I don't think anybody would have put money on that.

"I think they have a great core group with great leadership at the top with Gorts [GM Jeff Gorton] now. AV [coach Alain Vigneault] is a proven coach in this League. I don't see why this team shouldn't have continued success."


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