Every step throughout his career, every door that opened in front of him, Marty St. Louis pushed his way through. After being passed over by major junior programs, he went on to be a Hobey Baker finalist at the University of Vermont. After being passed over by NHL teams, he became a two-time league scoring champion. So, it wouldn’t surprise many if the Lightning captain, initially passed over by Team Canada for the 2014 Olympic squad before being named an injury replacement for Tampa Bay teammate Steven Stamkos, forces his way into the lineup and makes an impact when Canada opens today against Norway at Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia. As usual, St. Louis will have to do it the hard way. He is expected either to dress as the 13th forward or be a healthy scratch to start the tournament after rotating in and out of fourth-line duties during initial practices in Sochi. “Reality is, it doesn’t matter how you get there. You get there and then you grab your chunk of cheese by how well you play and how hard you play,” Team Canada head coach Mike Babcock said. “That determines on a nightly basis who gets to play. “But if you go through his career, he’s been called out lots of times, that, ‘Hey, you’re too small to do this.’ And he’s just been determined. ... So, be a pro, be a real good teammate and battle your butt off in a competitive environment to get as much as you can to help your team. It’s not going to be about any one player.’’ St. Louis never hid his emotions when he was left off the initial Canadian roster on Jan. 7, even if he rarely discussed them in public. Instead, he helped pick up the Lightning, producing points in 14 of the next 16 games, including a career-high and franchise record-tying four goals against San Jose on Jan. 18. Once Stamkos was not cleared medically to play 12 weeks after breaking his right tibia, St. Louis was the unanimous choice among the Canadian management staff and coaches to replace him on the team.
Nothing comes easy on St. Louis’ Olympic journey
Tampa Tribune | Feb 13