The parting of ways between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Martin St. Louis was about as amicable as any reunion episode of a reality show.
Still, the contribution to the franchise cannot be ignored. In 927 games played with the Lightning, Marty amassed 953 points (365 goals, 588 assists), and one Stanley Cup back in 2004. On Wednesday night, St. Louis returned to Tampa Bay for the first time since the trade.
He was honored during a TV time-out in the first period with this video:
St. Louis, with tears in his eyes, saluted fans tapping his fist against his heart. The arena gave him a standing ovation (despite booing him heartily the first time he touched the puck earlier).
It’s funny. Often when a contentious breakup of a team from one of it’s ‘face of the franchise’ players happens, fans are left asking the question of who their loyalty is truly with: the player or the the team? Can it be to both? Sure, but often the most passionate of fans take the reasons for the parting somewhat personally.
(S/T to Caity Kauffman and the Tampa Bay Lightning for the video.)