The other day Peter Puck and I were talking and I asked him who was his all time favorite player. He started thinking so hard I could almost smell rubber burning but then he smiled and he said; “Brian, I don’t know which great hockey player I would choose as my favorite, there are so many great ones, but I can tell you who inspires me the most right now and who, when I’m feeling too small, gives me courage. It’s Marty St. Louis from Laval, Quebec.
See, Marty is a small guy, he tells everyone he is 5’9” but I think that may be with his skates on because when I see him, he sure is a lot closer to me than anyone else on the ice. Anyway, he played college hockey at the University of Vermont and holds the record for most career points there. He also was an All American and a three time Hobey Baker award finalist. Not only that but he came within 4 points of breaking the ECAC all time scoring record.
Despite all this, he was not drafted into the NHL and was overlooked – and I use the pun on purpose Brian – by every NHL team.
Finally, he managed to get the Calgary Flames to notice him and they signed him as a free agent. But they must not have had much faith in Marty and gave up on him without even seeing what they were losing.
Luckily, the Tampa Bay Lightening, who must judge their hockey players on skill not size, recognized Marty for the exceptional player he is. They signed him right up and got themselves a real star player. In 2003-04, Marty won the Hart Trophy (MVP), the Art Ross Trophy (scoring leader) the Pearson Trophy (players choice as MVP) and the Stanley Cup. That’s a lot of trophies! And, in 2005, Tampa bay signed him for six more years for more money that I know how to count! Not bad for a little fellow from Laval, Quebec, who ignored the people who judged him “too small for the NHL”.
So whenever I get feeling like everyone is out to get me (which in my case they are!) I think of Marty St. Louis and realize that having faith in myself can help me get noticed when no one is willing to look in my direction… which, for me, would be down.