TAMPA, Fla. -- On a night when the new Tampa Bay Lightning were introduced to their home crowd, with Jon Cooper working through his first October hockey as a head coach at the NHL level, there was comforting consistency found with captain Marty St. Louis.
The Lightning routed the Florida Panthers 7-2, with Steven Stamkos receiving most of the attention with his sixth career hat trick. But St. Louis, Tampa Bay's heart at 38 years old, walked through the Lightning's dressing room late Thursday in a blue blazer and dress pants with slight stubble on his chin after completing his first home game with the respected "C."
The title is a matter of semantics, of course. St. Louis has served, proudly, as a de-facto captain here for many years. He received the honor earlier this month, and the choice made so much sense it's not worth debating.
Hockey is a game tradition and respect, both acknowledged after they're earned. St. Louis has accepted a title that reflects how his teammates value ...