Watch above: The New York Rangers rally around teammate, Martin St. Louis, as he lays his mother to rest. Reporter Billy Shields has more.
MONTREAL – The sunny day in Laval was a grief-stricken affair as Martin St. Louis put his mother, France Theroux St. Louis, to rest.
The entire New York Rangers team attended the funeral, rallying around their teammate.
“I think what they’re doing is that they’re moving on through our team,” said New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.
Last Thursday, right in the middle of the Ranger’s NHL playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis lost his mother, France, who died unexpectedly at the age of 63.
After speaking with his father, St. Louis decided that his mother would have wanted him to be with his teammates, and so he rejoined the team for Game 5 in Pittsburgh on Friday.
The tragedy, and St. Louis’ dedication to the game and his team, inspired everyone.
To the sounds of fans chanting, “Mar-ty, Mar-ty,” he went on to score a memorable goal during the Rangers’ decisive Game 6 win on Mother’s Day.
WATCH: Martin St. Louis scores emotional goal on Mother’s Day
Although the funeral was originally scheduled for Saturday, the St. Louis family pushed the day of the service back to Sunday, in order to accommodate the NHL Eastern Conference Finals schedule.
“Anyone who knows Marty knows what kind of character he has – that’s the kind of character he is,” said Dominic Moore, St. Louis’ teammate.
Moore lost his wife to cancer last year.
It’s something he told reporters has helped forge an understanding between him and St. Louis.
St. Louis’ situation shows a different side of sports – one that instead of highlighting distinctions can help bring people together in times of grief.
“Today is a day we gotta think about Marty and his family and his mother,” said Daignault.
“Tomorrow life goes on and we gotta think about a big game.”
– With files from Domenic Fazioli, Global News, and The Associated Press