Marty St. Louis says 'nervousness' for Friday's ceremony
Marty St. Louis opened Thursday's press conference at Amalie Arena with a joke.
"I am not making a comeback," St. Louis said, laughing.
There will likely be many laughs, and maybe some tears, from St. Louis during Friday's ceremony where the Lightning will retire his No. 26. On the eve of the event, when St. Louis will drop the ceremonial puck, he said he hopes to keep his emotions in check.
"I'm definitely nervous," St. Louis said. "I've practiced my speech in front of 3-4 people. Now I get to execute in front of 19,000 people watching. Nobody prepares you for these things, you just do the best you can and enjoy it. That's what I'm reminding myself, just really enjoy it."
While St. Louis ended his career with the Rangers after famously demanding a trade back in 2014, Tampa is where he made his name in what could be a Hall of Fame career. St. Louis reflected on some of his favorite memories, including the 2004 Stanley Cup on Thursday. Many of his former Lightning teammates, including Vinny Lecavalier, are going to be here Friday. So will former Lightning coach John Tortorella, in town with the Blue Jackets. St. Louis said it was his first choice to have the ceremony when Tortorella was in the building.
"My wife and I talk about it all the time, we grew up here," St. Louis said. "We just got married. All our kids were raised here at a young age. We've got a lot of friends. As a player, I grew up here. I matured here. This will always be home. This is why it'll always be a special place."