Skip to content

Fanspeak: Martin St. Louis voted greatest Lightning in franchise history

Aug 15, 2014, 8:40 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Lighting v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Tampa Bay Lightning

1. Martin St. Louis (820)
2. Steven Stamkos (399)
3. Dave Andreychuk (185)
4. Vincent Lecavalier (166)

The Lightning drafted two high-profile centers first overall (Stamkos and Lecavalier) and employed a different player who won a Conn Smythe Trophy (Brad Richards), yet fans voted undrafted forward Martin St. Louis as the greatest Lightning player ever.

It would be interesting to see how differently fans might vote after, say, five more years of Stamkos* … but right now, St. Louis is an easy choice even after his painful trade-related divorce from last season.

In 13 seasons with the team, St. Louis scored 953 points in 972 regular season games (a franchise record), scored 68 points in 63 postseason contests (another franchise record) while collecting one Hart and two Art Ross trophies. He was a huge part of the team’s lone Stanley Cup victory and also helped the Bolts come within one win of a second Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2011.

Beyond that, St. Louis was a consistent performer in a franchise that seemed to experience lows that were just as dramatic as the peak moments (and more bleak than bright ones in that). The 39-year-old seems likely to get booed the next time he plays in Tampa Bay, yet it is a virtual certainty that his No. 26 will be raised to the rafters one day.

* – If Stamkos is around for the long haul. of course.

  1. djshnooks - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    St. Louis, St. Shmooley…

    They don’t get a cup without Dave Andreychuk…I don’t care what they say!

  2. lightning9126 - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    I know that some fans are still angry (and understandably so) but you can’t count out the fact that had it been for this goal:

    The Bolts would not have been able to force a game 7 and return to Tampa Bay to win the Cup. Even as a Bolts fan, I’m still going to say that Marty St. Louis was the best player to ever don a Lightning sweater. I love and respect Vinny and what he did for the community, and Dave Andreychuk…but Marty, for me, is the greatest one.

  3. georgejarkko - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    MSL would never get my vote.

  4. alicesrightfootesq - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Can’t believe Stamkos and Andreychuk are ahead of Lecavalier.

    • 48colorrainbow - Aug 16, 2014 at 1:24 AM

      I can understand Stamkos, but Andreychuk ahead of Lecavalier was a surprise.

  5. eksmith6 - Aug 16, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    I love MSL but the way he left was really bad. I know we aren’t MSL but the Olympics have nothing to do with the Bolt on his chest. He should have honored that regardless of who was running the team. Even with that said, the man running that team is Steve Yzerman who has been successful at everything he has done. The man knows what he is doing and getting the return he got for MSL was amazing. The team will be fine without him but he was a great lightning player for years. I will always love him for what he has done for this team. Just wish he would have removed the ego and was happy with what he had here. Things happen for a reason and think TB will ultimately be better for this decision.

  6. 950003cups - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    John Tortorella won them that gosh darn silver bowl.

  7. vanindeed - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Lecavalier should be #1

  8. dueman - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    I expected the voting to be a lot closer between Marty, Vinny. and Stamkos. Marty has been around for a lot longer than Stamkos, but if you look at both of their first six years in the league (because Stamkos has only been there that long), Stamkos’ stats are way better. Stamkos has 426 points in his first six years, compared to Marty’s 259. Even if you knock off Marty’s first season (because he only played 13 games) and add on his next year, he still only has 361 points compared to Stamkos’ 426 points….My point being that Stamkos is the better player. Also, in looking at the voting, I can’t believe how little love Vinny got…out of 1570 votes, Vinny only got 166. That’s baffling to me…

    • puckluckpost - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      Vinnie- number 1 pick. NOT a leader. NOT a big game player.
      Marty- un-drafted, leader, big game player.

    • falstaffsmind - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      Vinny has had a bit of a strange career. For about 5 years, he was one of the very best players in hockey, then he suddenly became very average. He suddenly struggled to keep up with plays. Marty, on the other hand, performed at a high level for all 12 years he played with the Lightning. Where Vinny really shined was in giving back to the community. He has a wing of Children’s hospital named after him he was so involved.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1841)
  2. P. Kane (1414)
  3. S. Matthias (1252)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1126)
  5. D. Carcillo (1106)