The Columbus Blue Jackets confirmed earlier today that legendary Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis has joined the team as a special teams consultant.
St. Louis, of course, has a special connection to the Blue Jackets organization with head coach John Tortorella. St. Louis and Torts won a Stanley Cup together in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the player and coach have maintained a close relationship throughout the years.
Read below for the official press release on this hiring, courtesy of the Blue Jackets’ website:
The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that former National Hockey League forward Martin St. Louis, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2018, has joined the club as a special teams consultant.
St. Louis was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame following a 17-year career that saw him register 391 goals, 642 assists and 1,033 points in 1,134 games with the Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers from 1998-2015. He was a six-time All-Star, won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player (2003-04), Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer (2003-04, 2012-13), Ted Lindsay Award (2003-04), Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13) and led the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup championship. In 107 career games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he collected 42-48-90, including 9-15-24 and three game-winning goals in 23 games in 2004.
"Marty St. Louis made himself into a Hall of Fame player through sheer determination, hard work and a great understanding of how to play the game the right way," said Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella, who coached St. Louis in Tampa Bay from 2000-08. "We're still developing his role, but he has so much knowledge about our game and what it takes to be successful, both individually and within the team concept, that he'll be a great asset to our players."
ST. LOUIS: New role with Blue Jackets a "win-win for everybody"
After playing four seasons at the University of Vermont from 1993-97, St. Louis signed a free agent contract with the Flames and spent three seasons in the organization before signing with the Lightning prior to the 2000-01 campaign. At the time of his retirement, the Laval, Quebec native was one of only six undrafted players in NHL history to record 1,000 points in the league. He scored 20 or more goals in 11-of-12 seasons between 2002-15 (17 in 20 games during shortened 2012-13 campaign) with seven seasons of 30-plus goals, including 2006-07 when he racked up a career-high 43-59-102 in 82 games. He also scored 101 power play, 29 shorthanded and 66 game-winning goals in his NHL career.
"It is a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to work with the Columbus Blue Jackets," said St. Louis. "I truly love the game. I have been coaching my boys since my retirement, so I am excited to share my knowledge while still being able to coach my kids. I'm looking forward to working with the coaching staff and players in Columbus."
"That's a guy I think you have to really look for, as his kids get away from him and he stops coaching them as the kids say, 'I don't want to listen to you anymore Dad,' as far as a guy at this level that could be a really good coach," Tortorella said to laughter. "It'll be interesting to see what happens."
"Torts called me a few weeks back," St. Louis told BlueJackets.com today. "He knows what I'm doing right now with my kids and asked if I want to get involved without taking my time with my kids away from me, so to me, I thought it was a win-win for everybody. I still get to do the things I need to do and want to do with my kids but get to help Columbus as well.
"I think it's a chance for me to get my feet wet, get inside the ropes a little bit but still do what I love to do with my kids."