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St. Louis making the most of opportunity with Rangers

Jun 3, 2014, 10:19 PM EDT

Martin St. Louis AP

Martin St. Louis has experienced the widest range of emotions this spring, from on the ice in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the New York Rangers to the sudden and tragic passing of his mother.

He has since become arguably the most inspirational figure in these playoffs, helping the Rangers battle their way to the Stanley Cup Final against the L.A. Kings, with six goals – including two game winners – and 13 points in 20 post-season games. Now, at the age of 38, he’s back in the championship series for the first time in 10 years following that blockbuster trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning at the deadline.

It’s been a whirlwind journey this season for the skilled forward. Left off Canada’s Olympic roster, then, because of an injury to Steven Stamkos, St. Louis was named to the team that went on to win gold in Sochi, to a trade from a team he spent 12 full seasons with to the bright lights of New York, and through the spring.

“At the end of the day,I made that move thinking of this opportunity, to have this chance to play in a Stanley Cup Final,” St. Louis told reporters.

Standing at just 5’8″ tall, St. Louis has already had to fight through more than most players in the league simply because of his size. But losing a family member during an already intense time of the year is completely different.

He’s persevered. His teammates have been there for him, attending his mother’s funeral. The Rangers have rallied. They were trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in the second round and looked on their way to a sure defeat.

In the wake of the tragedy their teammate faced, they came together to beat Pittsburgh, then rolled past the Montreal Canadiens to claim the East.

“When it happened we were in a tough spot. We put ourselves in a big hole by losing two at home. Flying to Pittsburgh it felt like things could not get any worse and then you find that out and you realize that thing can actually get worse,” said New York’s goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

“We just came together as a group. We acted the right way … to be there for Marty and his family but at the same time you have to do what you can to play your absolute best.”

St. Louis has been grateful.

“My teammates have been nothing but supportive, with everything. You come to a new team, the support I got was great, but then with the situation with my mom, even greater support then.”

  1. lowenni - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Good for Marty. I really thought I had lost a lot of respect for the guy when he asked to be traded out of Tampa, I didn’t think I’d be able to root for him like I have so many times in the past despite him being a division rival when he played in the Caps division. While I still think it was wrong of him to leave Tampa the way he did, the guy is still a class act. It’s too hard to root against him, and with all that’s happened to him during these playoffs with his family, I find myself cheering for him as I have in the past. Best of luck to him, hope he gets to lift the Cup at least one more time, right after Dominic Moore.

  2. LampyB - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Why does everyone continue to think he left Tampa in a negative manner?

    Open your eyes, its a business, he wanted a cup, his family is now with him, and callahan should be much more scrutinized by screwing over his team for an outrageous payday request per his abilities.

    So STFU already when it comes to ragging on st louis decision to make a move.

    • hockey412 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      Well, nothing but respect for Marty, but I didn’t think there was any question whatsoever that he left Tampa in a negative manner. It was not all a business decision – you act like his contract was up. He had hard feelings (that’s not a business decision) – that much was never denied by anyone. I think the Tampa organization displayed a lot of class in trading their Captain based upon his wishes.

      That said, Marty’s a hell of a hockey player and has earned the right to make that move – regardless of why. I’ll be cheering for him! People have the right to be upset about it, too, though.

  3. hockeyornothing - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    I agree – very classy move by yzerman to get that trade done. Wouldn’t probably have been able to happen tho if mcDonagh wasn’t trying to hold out. Btw IT IS ALL ABOUT BUSINESS but it just so happens that now not only can St. Louis fight for another Cup but he’s also able to be with his family. I’m sorry but Captain or not he had to do what was right for him. I only wish St. Louis all the best! GO RANGERS!

  4. hockeyornothing - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Oops meant Callahan

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