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After 14 Years, St. Louis Is Still Trying To Get Better

Last night during the Lightning's 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators, Martin St. Louis joined a special group of players when he was credited with an assist on Vinny Lecavalier's second period goal. 

The assist gave St. Louis 900 career points, which tied him with Tony Amonte at No. 97 on the NHL's all-time points list. 

Before the final horn sounded, the 12-year Lightning player would jump ahead of Amonte and solely into 96th place when St. Louis was given credit on Steven Stamkos' go-ahead goal with five minutes left in regulation.

St. Louis, who played the first two of his 14 years with Calgary and recorded 20 points in 69 games for the Flames, spoke with Tom Jones and Rick Stroud Tuesday morning about his accomplishment.

The Laval, Quebec native has been a fan favorite in Tampa Bay since his arrival in 2000, mainly due to his "team first" attitude. Throughout all of his years playing for the Lighting faithful, St. Louis rarely takes credit when it is due. On The Sports Page, St. Louis acknowledged the significance of scoring 901 career points.

"I mean, obviously I'm proud of that milestone," St. Louis said. "A couple weeks ago I cracked the top-100 all-time in the NHL in points and you find yourself next to some pretty special players; I think on the list now I'm close to Bobby Orr and some of those guys.

"I think when you break into the league, you don't think about these kinds of accomplishments, you're trying to, first of all, just to make it to the NHL, then once you're there to stay there and try to fight for ice time and try to better your faith every year. And you're playing to win games and win championships. But at the end of the day, I think it's going to sink in more when I see the names I'm close to.

"It's flattering, it's an honor to have done this last night."

If the first half of the 2012-13 season would not have been locked out and all 82 games were on the schedule, St. Louis would be on pace to finish the year with 100 points; a feat accomplished by only two players 37 or older Gordie Howe and Joe Sakic. 

In true St. Louis form, he gave the credit for his high-level of play throughout his career to his teammates Brad Richards, Vinny Lecavalier, and Steven Stamkos, but feeks he was a smarter player now than he was 10 years ago and being placed in the same category as far as production with Howe and Sakic was quite an accolade.

"To be mentioned with Joe Sakic and Gordie Howe in terms of 100 points or better for a 37-year-old it's an honor," St. Louis said. "I try to put myself in the best position I can every year to have a great year and that's the work you put in the summer and I'd like to say I'm still trying to get better."

St. Louis also touched on new head coach Jon Cooper and the trade for Ben Bishop, which sent Cory Conacher to Ottawa in exchange. Although it was disappointing to see the league's rookie assist leader go, St. Louis put it into perspective. 

"You know I always say, 'to get something good, you have to give up something good,'" St. Louis said, "So those are the decisions (General Manager) Steve Yzerman makes and Ben (Bishop) has been very good for us."

The conversation was not all serious, however, as St. Louis opened up about his photo shoot for ESPN The Magazine's Photo Issue which features the Lightning forward's physique. St. Louis joked that he isn't as impressed with his body for his age as others are.

"Along the way people have asked me, 'How do you do this at 37?' or whatever," St. Louis reflected. "And I said, 'I'll be honest with you people, I don't know what I'm supposed to feel like at 37; this is my first time.'"


For the full audio of Tom and Rick's conversation with Marty St. Louis, click below:

 

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