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Marty St. Louis in Hall of Fame induction speech: ‘My heart and will was taller than everyone else’

The words of wisdom Martin St. Louis offered at the end of his speech sounded as if they were advice he received as an undrafted NHL player.

An undrafted skater who had anything but an easy path to a long NHL career.

"For all of the kids out there listening, follow your dreams, believe in yourself," St. Louis said. "When it seems like all of the doors are closing, look for a window and find a way in. The reason that some people don't reach their full potential is that they quit too soon."

Because he heeded these words, St. Louis found himself giving a speech on Monday in Toronto as one of the newest members inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He earned this spot after a career in which he earned the spot of the Lightning's all-time points leader.

St. Louis leads the franchise all-time in assists (588), game-winning goals (64), short-handed goals (28), Stanley Cup playoff goals (33), points (68), overtime goals (3) and game-winning goals (8).

And he did it all as a 5-foot-7 hockey player.

No easy feat in a league that favored size even more than it does now.

"(My mom) convinced me that my heart and will was taller than everyone else," St. Louis said.

The first time he mentioned France St. Louis came in this moment as he called her the best human he had ever met. He thanked his mom, who died from a heart attack at age 63 in 2014, one more time at the end.

"This one's for you," he said. "I love you."

France St. Louis was at the top of a long list of thank you's, the subject of most of St. Louis' speech. One of the earliest thank you's went out to the Lightning players, coaches and staff members who stood to his left off the stage.

This group surprised St. Louis, who did not know they would be coming up from Buffalo that night ahead of a Tuesday game against the Sabres. Included in that group: Lightning coach Jon Cooper, Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller and Alex Killorn.

With St. Louis having capped his career with the New York Rangers, players such as McDonagh and Miller had the chance to play with him there.

He closed out his speech by going and shaking hands with these players, coaches and staff members. But not before he thanked other people who made it possible for him to reach the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The list is long, as it included family members, people who helped him in Tampa and New York, trainers, and coaches.

He thanked several coaches, but he expressed the most gratitude to former Lightning coach John Tortorella.

"Torts gave me the platform and confidence to become the player I knew I could be," St. Louis said. "I went much further because of how demanding you were physically and mentally. Thank you Torts."

The most unique thank you of the speech might have gone out to his sister, Isabelle.

"You always supported me," St. Louis said. "I will never forget that you were my first goalie."

The first of many goaltenders whom St. Louis put the puck past en route to the Hockey Hall of Fame.