40-Year-Old Right Wing – Free Agent
Martin St. Louis Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2015.
St. Louis announced his retirement as an NHL player on Thursday.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Martin St. Louis.
Despite a slow start (one goal in 19 regular season games) to his career in New York, St. Louis was an integral part of the teamís chemistry, and a critical producer (15 points in 25 games) in the Rangersí run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Thatís all fine and well, but set aside the ties that bind, and you have a 39-year-old winger in the final year of a four-year deal. Whether or not St. Louis is considering retirement or vying for one last pay-day before he hangs them up, itís very likely youíll see the veteran empty the tank with all heís got left in 2014-15. Although his pre-draft status is that of an aging veteran with dwindling offensive production (although a 69-point campaign between the Rangers and Lightning last season is nothing to scoff at), the enormity of his campaign will surely depend on his likely linemates, Rick Nash and Derek Stepan.
Mighty Mite won the Art Ross trophy last season a few short months before his 38th birthday and became the oldest man in NHL history to win the title. The little buzz saw with the rocket shot hasn't lost a step and has incredible chemistry with sniping linemate, Steven Stamkos. Will he win the Art Ross again? Not a chance. And he's no longer a lock to hit the 30-goal mark. But he'll certainly be in the NHL's top-10 scorers this season and probably in the top three in assists. That's fantasy gold. Draft him with confidence and count on at least a point-per-game production. Keeper leaguers should seriously consider leveraging last year's hardware into a pre-season deal, though -- this output won't last forever. And you still have time to convince your opponents that he's still a keeper stud given his relatively low NHL mileage.
Mighty Mite might be 37, but he plays like he's still in his prime. Last year, he scored a paltry 74 points -- his worst output since 2005-06. But his second half was strong and his chemistry with Steven Stamkos is outstanding. Expect a return to his point-per-game ways, making him one of the NHL's best at his position.
St. Louis is the straw that stirs the Bolts' success. In fact, we say he's the best guy on that team. Sure, Steven Stamkos is a rising star and Vinny is a two-way stud. But the reality is quite clear -- neither of those guys could have the success they've had without Mighty Mite on their line. The numbers don't lie. St. Louis makes them better, not the other way around. He may be 36 but he hasn't lost a step. And his offensive production is as good or better than it's ever been. Another near-100 point season is in the cards. Don't hesitate on draft day.
Mighty Mite is no ordinary 35-year-old hockey player. Others who have gone before have seen an erosion of skill -- speed first and hands second. But St. Louis hasn't lost even an ounce of either because his odometer has a mere 772 games on it. To put that in context, 30-year-old teammate Vinny Lecavalier has already played 97 more games. So throw out the birthday candles and consider St. Louis one of the elite wingers in the NHL, something he'll be for at least a couple more seasons.
The Bolts might as well engrave Mighty Miteís name on their team MVP trophy right now. Heís their heart and soul, and heís still an elite right winger. Now, he may flip back and forth between the first and second lines this season. But heíll deliver 30 goals and 80 points whether heís skating with Vinny Lecavalier or Steven Stamkos. Keeper leaguers will have some difficult decisions come trade deadline, though. Despite his relative low NHL mileage (just 690 games), heíll turn 35 next June. He should have another season of elite output after this one but maximizing a diminishing asset might be in the cards, too.
Mighty Miteís production tailed off last year after Vinny Lecavalierís injury and the Brad Richards trade. But with a lot more complementary scorers on this yearís team, St. Louis wonít go through the same late-season struggles this time around. Heíll skate with Vinny and work the number one power-play unit with him, too. And thatís good enough for 85-90 points, including lots of goals.
Mighty Mite crashed back to earth last season with a meager 61-point effort, some 33 points off his MVP season of 2003-04. Did this little firecracker just have one bad season or is he nothing more than your fringe-average, 60-point rock-and-roller with a one-hit wonder on his resume? While we think it will be hard for him to break his career-high of 94 points, we do think St. Louis will rebound a bit. We need only look at the last quarter of 2005-06 when he scored 13 goals in just 21 games to know he has the talent to score 40. He's bound to better his totals of 2005-06 and you might just be able to grab him a little lower than you should come draft day.
Mighty Mite took home a lot of hardware -- the Hart trophy as MVP, Art Ross as top scorer, Lester B. Pearson as the player's MVP, the plus-minus award AND a Stanley Cup -- in 2003-04. It's quite a leap for a guy plucked off the scrap heap only a few years ago. This season, St. Louis will carry a much heavier weight of expectation and while the new rule changes certainly favor a player of his style, we can't help but think Mighty Mite's production just might drop. Call it a hunch because that's all it is. But keeper leagues should seriously look at hedging their bets and (heaven forbid) consider trading him now while his value is sky-high. Come 2006-07, we think it will be St. Louis who is traded so the Bolts can keep Brad Richards. And when that happens, his value will drop -- what other team can give him the same kind of supporting cast as the Lightning? Food for thought...