Nothing has galvanized this Rangers team more than the unexpected passing of France St. Louis, mother of Martin. The tragedy brought this group closer, and rallied them around a common cause in their second round series against the Penguins.
So, it should come as no surprise that today we learned the entire team will attend France's funeral on Sunday in between Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Rangers will attend Martin St Louis' mother's funeral on Sunday in Montreal between Games 1 and 2— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) May 15, 2014
The Sunday date was not the family's first choice, according to multiple reports. Originally scheduled for Saturday, the St. Louis family pushed the funeral back to Sunday to accommodate the Eastern Conference Finals schedule. St. Louis of course played just over 24 hours in Game 5 against Pittsburgh after learning of his mother's death. Where this story takes a weird turn is when the Rangers went to the league and asked them to move Saturday's game—scheduled for 1 p.m.—to a night game so the team could attend a funeral earlier in the day. But with the Preakness already locked in, the request was not met, and Sunday was decided upon.
Rangers tried to get Saturday game moved to night to accommodate funeral. NBC has Preakness, no wiggle room for game to be switched.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) May 15, 2014
To make it very clear, the Preakness timeslot was never going to be touched, nor should NBC or the league be scrutinized for not budging. But nonetheless, it's hard to imagine both the league and NBC escaping this one without receiving any criticism.