Martin St. Louis had plenty of answers when asked what carried him through a 16-year NHL career filled with accolades no one thought a man of his stature could attain.

From family, to friends, to teammates and coaches, the former NHL MVP who announced his retirement on Thursday gave thanks to all those he felt had a part in his illustrious career.

“I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years.  I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents," he said in his announcement.
“I have had the good fortune of working with some incredible players and trainers throughout my career who I am grateful to also call good friends.  I am also thankful to all of the fans who have supported me through the years; it has meant so much to me. I have dedicated my life to being the best player I could be and now want to turn more of my focus to my three boys.  I look forward to this next chapter of my life and the time I will have with my family.”

But what actually carried the Laval, Quebec native to 391 goals, 642 assists and 1,033 points in 1,134 regular-season contests with the Rangers and Lightning? What was his real support system on the way to the Art Ross, Hart and Lester B. Pearson awards in 2004 to go along with a Stanley Cup championship?

His quads, that's what.

The legend of St. Louis' physique was born from this photo in ESPN's The Body Issue in 2013.

A few months later a new photo of the rock-solid tree stumps appeared, only enhancing the aura of the legend.

Martin St. Louis

At least you don't have to wonder how he got them. Being a hockey player for more than three decades doesn't hurt and off-season training in the summer with the likes of Steven Stamkos can't be bad for the bod either.