NHL

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

New York Rangers coaches, players join Martin St. Louis for his mother's funeral

  • Print

LAVAL, Que. - The thrill of a big win was replaced by reflection as the New York Rangers shared some pain with teammate Martin St. Louis by attending his mother's funeral on Sunday.

The entire team and coaching staff went to the funeral in a suburb north of Montreal where St. Louis grew up. They were joined by hockey personalities like Montreal Canadiens great Guy Lafleur and Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos.

"It was a very personal matter for Marty," said Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh. "We just wanted to be there to support him and his family.

"He's been tremendous through this whole process. It's great to have someone like that on our squad."

His mother, France St. Louis, died suddenly three days before Mother's Day in the middle of the Rangers' series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. She was 63.

St. Louis didn't miss a game and provided a lift to his teammates as they battled back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series.

Then the Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens 7-2 on Saturday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final, with St. Louis scoring the opening goal early in the first period.

The best-of-seven series resumes Monday night at the Bell Centre.

New York coach Alain Vigneault's voice choked with emotion as he described the service.

"The New York Rangers family has been touched by a little Quebec family in a deep, profound way," he said. "It was a very emotional, very moving time for our team to have the opportunity to be there and share that with Marty and his family.

"Marty took the podium and shared some incredible moments. It was a deep message. It was a challenging day for us."

Centre Brad Richards, who won a Stanley Cup with St. Louis when they played together with the Lightning, said the death has helped the 38-year-old scoring star bond with the Rangers, who he joined at the March 5 NHL trade deadline.

"I think it's going to help just to get his mind off two things: Trying to play and then trying to make sure he's doing all the right things for his family and his dad, and do what his mom would want," said Richards. "We all know this will probably hit him when hockey is over and he has time to reflect.

"But he's done an unbelievable job keeping everything together and helping his sister and his dad get through this. You wouldn't expect anything else."

A handful of hockey fans watched as the Rangers dismounted from the team bus and entered the Laval funeral home.

Habs fan Jeff Quinn, who drove from Saint John, N.B. with his girlfriend to see Saturday's game, said he's always admired St. Louis and came to pay his respects.

Quinn said the death of St. Louis' mother seems to have brought the Rangers closer.

"With Marty and his teammates, it was just one of those rallying points," he said. "In sports, that's huge — when everybody gets together."

History

Updated on Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 4:26 PM CDT: Video added

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.
  • A  young goose stuffed with bread from  St Vital park passers-by takes a nap in the shade Thursday near lunch  –see Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge Day 29-June 28, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google