GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers will attend the funeral of France St. Louis on Sunday in Montreal, the day after opening the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens in the city.
St. Louis, the mother of Rangers forward Martin St. Louis, died of a heart attack last week at age 63. The forward learned of the news when the Rangers arrived in Pittsburgh the day before Game 5 of the second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins and immediately flew to Montreal to be with his family. He rejoined the Rangers the next day and played in Game 5. With his father, Normand, and sister, Isabelle, in attendance, St. Louis scored the first goal in New York's 3-1 Game 6 win at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
"Marty's [mother's] funeral was supposed to be Saturday. We couldn't move the time of the game, so Marty being who he is was able to move the funeral to Sunday," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "So Sunday, as a team, we'll be able to attend his mother's funeral."
New York has rallied around St. Louis since his mother's death, with a number of players acknowledging that her untimely passing gave everyone in the Rangers locker room 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."