The Lightning's Cory Conacher's' story could be a Hollywood script: "Undrafted, undersized rookie, makes the NHL on the same team of his boyhood idol and steals the spotlight in the first week on the ice," is how it could read.
Conacher was just 8 years old when Marty St. Louis broke into the league. While the two are ages apart, they share of lot of similarities. Both are 5 foot 8 and both have had to scrap their way to the NHL.
So it was no surprise that when Conacher came to the Lightning in 2011, St. Louis took him right under his wing.
"Hopefully he saw a lot of me in him," Conacher said. "People like to compare me to him. At the same time I have a long way to go. He's a guy that has done so many amazing things."
The two are near mirror images of each other, and for Conacher, it's by design.
"A guy like St. Louis has been my idol," Conacher said."He's a guy that I used to be in 'mini-sticks' back when I was a young kid."
"It's another sign that I'm getting old," St. Louis laughed.
St. Louis has quickly become a fan of his biggest fan because he knows exactly what it's like.
"I was alongside Theo Fleury," said St. Louis. "Felt the same way watching him play. I always felt if he could do it, I could do it. So it's definitely flattering."
For a 23-year old, coming into the Lightning's dressing room can be intimidating, because it's a room loaded with superstars. Conacher is trying to get used to having his locker next to Vinny Lecavalier and seeing Marty St. Louis right across from his stall.
"I still get star struck when I walk in the room and seeing him in there," Conacher said.
As much as the two are alike. Guy Boucher says there is nothing similar to the paths the two had to take to get here.
"They are two different eras," Boucher said. "I don't want to take anything away from Cory, but Marty St. Louis did it at a moment where no small guys could make it. What he's done back then is unreal."
Conacher is happy with just sharing the ice with St. Louis -- forget the comparisons, at least for now.
"Maybe someday I can say I was just like Marty St. Louis," Conacher said. "For right now, I'm still a young kid and I'm still learning from a guy like him."
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