Tampa Bay Lightning forward Marty St. Louis looks on during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes on November 1, 2013.
Tampa, FL -- Tampa Bay Lightning captain Marty St. Louis played in his 1,000th NHL game on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The Lightning plan to honor Marty at next Monday's home game with the New York Rangers, in a pre-game ceremony.
St. Louis sat down with 10 News Sports Anchor Dave Wirth to talk about his career, The Body Issue, and now playing with seven rookies.
"A lot of those guys are closer to my kids' age, than my age," Marty jokingly said.
On a team where half the roster is under 26 years old -- and a quarter of the roster stands at least 6'4" -- Marty St. Louis is still "Mr. Big": 38 years old and 14 years since he first put on the Lightning sweater, he finally earned the right to wear the captain's "C."
"As a kid, dreaming one day you're going to be a captain of an NHL team... it's pretty surreal. I was honored and flattered by the confidence shown by the coaching staff and by Steve Yzerman."
But Marty's professional career hasn't always been a breakaway. Coming out of the University of Vermont, he went undrafted. Then after two years in Calgary, the Flames let him go. He became a free agent and remembers feeling angry that no one wanted him.
"It wasn't so much that I had to prove I could play at first... I had to prove I was tough enough. Once I got past that, I think they said, 'OK, let him play now.'"
His confidence took some hits until he signed with the Lightning in 2000.
"But at the end of the day, if you're at a crossroad, if you don't believe in yourself, who will?"
Marty's tenure of 14 years in Tampa is approaching some of the most enduring athletes in this city's history. And that's very important to him.
"For me, I'm proud of that," Marty said. "Tampa's been nothing but the best for me and my family. My kids get to grow up in one environment, they don't have to bounce from different places and different schools. For that I'm blessed, we've been blessed with that."
After accomplishing just about everything a player can in the NHL, last year Marty tried something new: he posed for ESPN Magazine, in their "Body" issue.
"It's funny, cuz my kids saw it and said, 'Daddy what are you doing in your underwear?' I always tell my kids to put clothes on, and here I am in a magazine in my underwear."