Martin St. Louis named new captain of Tampa Bay Lightning

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have a new captain and it's not much of a surprise; it's reigning Art Ross Trophy winner Martin St. Louis.

If it's any surprise it's because there was at least some question if the Lightning would go with young star Steven Stamkos or somebody else a little younger but even at 38 St. Louis is still an excellent choice for numerous reasons. He leads on and off the ice.

St. Louis has been around the block a few times and has those veteran intangibles and is also quite the gentleman and a great face of the franchise. That's why he's won three of the last four Lady Byng Trophies.

More over, he has that natural leadership quality to him. I recall seeing St. Louis defend a younger teammate after a game last season in the locker room. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski had just made his NHL debut and needed medical treatment for severe cramping. Like a pitbull, St. Louis was encouraging the media to give the kid a break and leave, getting feisty at one point. It was clear for me at that point he was captain material.

As for Stamkos, his time will come. St. Louis won't play forever and when he does hang them up, it will likely be Stamkos' C to take. For now though it's a very well-deserved honor for St. Louis, who is the 10th captain in franchise history.

The alternate captains will be Stamkos, Matt Carle and Nate Thompson.

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