The Martin St. Louis Factor
The Martin St. Louis story has now shifted from his Tampa departure, to the loss of his mother during the Rangers playoff run. While there were theories as to why St. Louis wanted out of Tampa, such as an issue with Yzerman after St. Louis wasn’t selected for the Canada Olympic team, it may have just been as simple as him wanting to be closer to his family.
Sadly, St. Louis’ mother, France, passed away on Thursday, May 8th. The Rangers played the night before in New York and lost their second home game to the Penguins. The loss put them down 3-1 in the series. I was noticeable throughout the game how off St. Louis looked. His defense was lacking and he didn’t have his usual fire and urgency on offense.
This unexpected loss however, brought the Rangers a new found fire. St. Louis’ play has rebounded in the last two games and the rest of the Rangers have rallied around him. St. Louis said he and his dad made the decision for him to play on Friday in Pittsburgh, noting that his mother would have wanted him to play. The Rangers held off elimination and sent the series to game 6 in New York.
On Sunday, Mother’s Day, St. Louis father, Normand, and sister, Isabelle were in attendance; it was clear that there was a special energy in the Garden, even before the puck dropped. 3:34 into the game, St. Louis scored and the Garden erupted with chants of “Mar-ty.”
As a journalist, these are the types of stories that don’t come along very often. When they do, they create a lot of buzz. However, watching Sunday’s game, the passing of St. Louis mother was quite the hot topic. I wish I counted how many times her death was mentioned. Even though I didn’t, more than a few mentions was more than enough. When you are in the spotlight nothing is ever private, and the Rangers organization has certainly responded to this heartfelt story, but it is time to let St. Louis and his family cope as they please.
Ever since St. Louis arrived in New York, I have said he could be the driving force to the Cup. Whether it’s the inspiration from his mother or his overall skill and hard work, it doesn’t matter, but St. Louis is doing everything he can to bring a Championship to Broadway.