Former AHL All-Star St. Louis retires

Martin St. Louis, whose road from undrafted free agent to NHL superstar included a three-year stop in the American Hockey League, announced his retirement on Thursday.

St. Louis played 1,134 games in the National Hockey League with Calgary, Tampa Bay and the New York Rangers, recording 391 goals and 642 assists for 1,033 points. He was a two-time NHL scoring champion, a three-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct, and an NHL MVP and Stanley Cup champion with the Lightning in 2004.

After leading the University of Vermont in scoring for four years, the 5-foot-8 St. Louis remained undrafted. During his rookie season, he compiled 26 points in 25 regular-season games for the AHL’s Saint John Flames before tying for the team lead in playoff scoring with 20 points in 20 games, helping the club to the Calder Cup Finals.

In 1998-99, St. Louis led Saint John in scoring with 62 points in 53 games and represented the club at the AHL All-Star Classic, held at what is now the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. He also made his NHL debut that season with Calgary.

St. Louis saw the last of the AHL in 1999-2000, when he put up 26 points in 17 games and finally earned a full-time job in the NHL.

After signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2000, St. Louis blossomed into an NHL star. He authored seven career 30-goal seasons, played in six NHL All-Star Games, earned five postseason All-Star Team nods (one First Team, four Second Team), and played in two Olympics, helping Canada to a gold medal in Sochi in 2014.

St. Louis finished his career with the New York Rangers, including a return to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014.

One of the most successful AHL graduates in NHL history, St. Louis totaled 58 goals and 56 assists for 114 points in 95 regular-season games in the American Hockey League, along with nine goals and 19 assists for 28 points in 27 Calder Cup Playoff contests.