We have some great news to share with you today hockey fans.
It appears that legendary National Hockey League forward Martin St. Louis is set to makes his return to the National Hockey League as a member of an NHL team's front office. According to a breaking news report from Columbus Blue Jackets insider Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, the Blue Jackets have just hired St. Louis to join them as a special teams' consultant where he presumably will work close with the franchise's coaching staff.
The move is an extremely interesting one on many different levels. First and foremost this is obviously a great public relations move for the Blue Jackets as St. Louis is not only a Hall of Fame player but is also one of the most universally respected and one of the most universally beloved players to ever lace up a pair of skates in the National Hockey League. St. Louis not only routinely wore his heart on his sleeve, something that made fans absolutely fall in love with him, but he also overcame tremendous adversity to become one of the greatest to ever play the game in spite of his small size in what was a big man's league at the time.
The other thing that is very interesting about this move is that you would have expected it to come from a number of other teams prior to the Blue Jackets. St. Louis of course began his career in the National Hockey League as a member of the Calgary Flames before truly making a name for himself under the colors of the Tampa Bay Lightning and would eventually go on to finish his career as a member of the New York Rangers. A front office role with any of those 3 franchises would have seen the most likely career trajectory for St. Louis but oddly he has gone to Columbus, a team that he would appear to have no connection to on the surface.
There is however a link to veteran head coach John Tortorella who spent many years with St. Louis in Tampa Bay and given that his new role sounds like one in which he would work closely with the coaching staff that may be the missing link here. Although this is a great move for the Jackets it may also have been a missed opportunity for the teams I mentioned before as well as one other franchise.
As a native of Laval, Quebec St. Louis could have served as a tremendous ambassador for the Montreal Canadiens franchise and you have to feel like the Habs missed a shot at a golden opportunity here.