O Captain Our Captain,
First and foremost, thank you Marty St. Louis. Thank you for the memories: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Over the past 14 years, you’ve grown from an unknown diamond in the rough to the face of our franchise; a constant in the ever-changing business that is the National Hockey League. You played with Dave, Brad, Vinny, and Steven. You outlasted Tort, Guy, and the whirlwind that was Barry Melrose. You were a continuous bright spot during some of the more recent struggles and your persistence, something you’ve had to do throughout your entire career, has led the team back into relevance.
Through the years, you’ve given the Tampa Bay area some wonderful memories. We’ll never forget the magical series against the Washington Capitals in 2003, in which you seemed to single-handedly clinch the franchise’s first playoff series. It took three overtime periods, but it was well worth the extra wait. And who will ever forget the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals against the Calgary Flames, when you had the entire fan base screaming, “WE ARE GOING BACK TO TAMPA BAY!”
You have been a pure joy to watch, and you play the game with such determination and drive that you remind everyone that goals can be achieved through hard work. Through all of the accolades and national recognition, you’ve remained the heart and soul of this franchise, and it is a shame that it has to come to an end in this fashion.
We can understand your disdain with the perceived Olympic “snub”; for someone who has fought against the odds their entire career with great success, it was both undeserved and unfortunate. Yet what is most unfortunate is that the people who believed in you most and had your back throughout the years are now those that have to suffer through your departure. We aren’t happy to see you go, and it will definitely take some getting used to watching you wear red, white, and blue. We will welcome you back with open arms during your first return to the Forum, but don’t for a second think that we won’t be rooting for the Bolts to beat you.
We wish you the best in the future and hope that you too won’t forget some of the great memories that we’ve shared over the years.
Skyway Shout Out and Tampa Bay Lightning Fans Nationwide