It came as a shock to New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis, when his mother suddenly passed away just days before Mother’s Day. When France St. Louis died of a heart attack at the age of 63, her son had just arrived in Pittsburgh for Game 5 of the series. He immediately flew to Montreal to be with his family, only to rejoin his team the next day for the game.
On Mother’s Day his father and sister were in attendance as St. Louis scored a memorable first goal in the team’s win at Madison Square Garden. Everyone knew at that moment, that goal was scored for his mother. His team has rallied around him since his mother’s death. A number of players acknowledged that her untimely passing gave the Rangers a new appreciation for things having little to do with hockey.
“Him showing up and coming back for us was a real inspiration,” forward Brad Richards said. “I hate talking about it because he lost his mom. We’d rather have her back and not rallied around that. It deserves to be talked about it, but at the same time it’s still a tough time for their family.”
The funeral was supposed to be on Saturday, which now has become the date of Game 1 of the Rangers-Canadiens series in Montreal. Since the game could not be changed, the funeral had to be. So on Sunday, as a team, the Rangers will rally around St. Louis once again as they attend the funeral. The bond a hockey team shares is a unique one, and this is just one more example of how true that is.