TAMPA — If you ask Columbus coach John Tortorella, Martin St. Louis shouldn't be done working in the NHL.
No, not as a player. Those days are done for the Hall-of-Famer. Tortorella sees him in a different role.
"As far as a guy at this level, I think could be a really good coach," Tortorella said.
This isn't as much a projection as it is a review and endorsement. Tortella has seen and heard Coach Marty firsthand.
He has taken part in conversations with his current forward Cam Atkinson and St. Louis, whom Tortorella coached in Tampa Bay. Similar in stature, St. Louis has mentored and instructed Atkinson recently.
"I think he can talk to Cam in a different way right now that could help him," Tortorella said.
It certainly hasn't hurt Atkinson. He scored 24 goals and tallied 18 assists prior to Tuesday's game. And Tortorella can tell that St. Louis is enjoying the coaching and mentoring.
Coach mode, he called it.
Right now, that coach mode primarily means coaching his kids. But that could change, Tortorella said, if St. Louis' kids at some point decide they don't want Coach Marty behind their team's bench anymore.
"That's a guy, Marty St. Louis that you have got to really look for," Tortorella said.
"It will be interesting to see what happens."
Contact Nick Kelly at [email protected] and follow @_NickKelly