The team and coaches attended services for Martin St. Louis’s mother, France, which were held outside Montreal in Laval, Quebec.
St. Louis’ mother passed away unexpectedly at the age of 63, suffering a heart attack. Her death came just three days before Mother’s Day, coinciding with the second round of NHL playoff games.
Former teammate of St. Louis and Tampa Bay Lightening captain, Steven Stamkos, also attended.
Rangers head coach, Alain Vigneault, said the service was very moving and touched the entire team.
"What I can say is that the New York Rangers family has been touched by a little Quebec family in a deep, profound way," Vigneault said. "Today was very emotional, very moving time for our team to have the opportunity to be there and to share that with Marty and his family. Marty took the stand, or the podium, however you want to call it, and shared some incredible moments. It was a very deep message and it was a challenging day for us."
Brad Richards, a Rangers team member and acring funeral director, added it was “another tough day” for the team, but that he admired how St. Louis was dealing with his loss.
“He’s done an unbelievable job keeping everything together and helping his sister and his dad get through this,” Richards said. “You wouldn’t expect anything else.”
He adds that St. Louis has come through the ordeal stronger and has propped up the rest of the Rangers to surge forward through the playoffs. He notes the inspirational lift he provided the team just before Game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens following his mother’s death.
“I hate talking about it because he lost his mom, and we’d rather have her back and not have rallied around that,” Richards said. “It deserves [being] talked about, but at the same time, we have to respect that it’s still a tough time for them and their family.”
This goes to show what so many already know; hockey teams are just like family.