Former UVM hockey player gets honored

A University of Vermont hockey alumnus became the first in UVM’s history to have a jersey retired Jan. 8, 2016.

A likely National Hockey League Hall-of-Famer, Martin St. Louis now has his jersey, No. 8, hanging from the ceiling of Gutterson Field House as the first jersey to be retired in over 50 years.

Jeff Schulman, senior associate athletic director at UVM, commented on the decision to retire St. Louis’ No. 8.

“Marty is just an exceptional alumnus of this University,” Shulman said.  ”And first and foremost, we look at the impact that he had on our Ice Hockey program when he was a student here. He energized the program, the community and the campus in a way that no other player ever has.”

St. Louis, also known as Marty, graduated as the all-time leading scorer of the UVM ice hockey program as well as three-time Hobey Baker finalist. The Hobey Baker award is given to the top men’s NCAA ice hockey player in the nation. He also led UVM to the Frozen Four in 1996 and had two appearances in the NCAA tournament.

St. Louis was not, in fact, drafted out of college, “and he was told throughout college that he was too small to play in the NHL,” Schulman said.

He explained that there was no exact moment for which the UVM athletic administration decided to honor St. Louis by retiring his jersey.

“We just felt like he was a shining example of everything that we aspire to at UVM athletics and we thought it was totally appropriate to celebrate him in a way that we had never celebrated any other player before,” Schulman said.

Director of Media Relations and Sports Information Alastair Ingram confirmed that St. Louis’ No. 8 was an easy choice to be the first raised to the rafters.

Both Ingram and Schulman described St. Louis as “the entire package.”

“I thought it was a great gesture,” first-year Cal Rawlings said. “His name is the most recognizable alumnus on the team. If you ask people who the best hockey player to come out of UVM is, that’s who most people would say.”

St. Louis had been back to Gutterson Field House only once since he graduated from UVM in 1997.

It was also an opportunity to bring him back to the Gutterson Field House once again.

St. Louis told Schulman after the ceremony that watching his jersey go up towards the roof was one of the most special experiences of his life.

“In my seven years at UVM, this was probably the most unique and memorable night at Gutterson,” Ingram said.

His three sons, his wife, his father, his sister and her family were also in attendance.