The Canadian | Family and hockey, “in that order”

(Denver) Martin St-Louis says he has two passions: his family and hockey. ” In this order. »

It was therefore the father who left the Canadian’s entourage in disaster, 10 days ago, to go to the bedside of his son Mason, 16, hospitalized due to complications following an accident suffered during a hockey match.

And it is the head coach who left his family behind, with a pang in his heart, to return to his club in Denver, Colorado. He was waiting for his players when they arrived at the hotel on Monday. The reunion was emotional, according to Martin McGuire, match describer at 98.5 FM, who witnessed the scene. In addition to the handshakes distributed to each player and each member of staff, there were heartfelt hugs.

St-Louis does not hide the fact that he felt a certain pang about leaving his family home in Connecticut to come and spend the last weeks of the season with the Habs. We understand that he would not have done so if Mason’s condition had still caused concern. Now, here is the teenager returning home with his mother.

The pilot thus paid tribute to his “home team”, without whom he would not have peace of mind.

“I’m not saying it’s easy,” he admitted Tuesday morning, a few hours before the duel between the Canadian and the Avalanche.

“We have a little adaptation (to make), it’s something that is still very fresh. But we are in a position where we were (comfortable). Things have settled back, and Mason returns to his normalcy; me too, my wife too. These are difficult times for the child and the parents, especially my wife – I missed a little bit of it, but she was there when it all happened. »

“I have a good team here, but I have a very good team at home,” he continued. That’s what you do as a team: you stay together and get through these difficult times. I have great admiration for my wife for the way she handled it all. »

He wanted to emphasize all the support he received, whether from his bosses, who gave him all the space necessary to get through this ordeal without worrying about hockey, or from his assistants and his players, and from the four corners of the NHL.

“The support I received, you can’t buy that,” he said. It reminds me why I fell in love with hockey. It’s not just the sport on the ice, it’s everything that it brings. It’s a small community. It’s a beautiful sport. »


Even if he was not required to do so, he still followed the destiny of his club closely, from a distance.

St-Louis thus communicated constantly, even during training (!), with his assistants.

On TV, he watched the four matches he was unable to attend in person. And he did it “like a coach very proud” of his troops.

In his absence, the team had a record of one victory and three defeats, including one in overtime. He never discussed these results with journalists.

“I am so proud to be part of this organization, of the way things went,” he said, praising “the behavior” of his troops, “not just in the matches.”


Trevor Letowski who took over as interim head coach during games.

He saw his assistants divide the task, with Trevor Letowski inheriting the position of interim head coach during games. “He did that really well!” »

“As a coach, it’s important to be a leader, (…) but also to be surrounded by leaders. I have that in my coaches and we have that in our players,” St-Louis continued.

“They all took responsibility for making sure things didn’t change.” Their attitude, their work ethic, how they played… I was watching that and I was really proud. »

Speaking of the players, they all sent messages to their coach, “so he knows we are thinking of him,” said Mike Matheson. But they left it there, out of respect for what he was going through. “Everyone wanted to give him time and let him know he didn’t need to rush.” That there were very important things in life. »

The Quebec defender is one of the few fathers in the training, and he admitted that seeing St-Louis go through this ordeal resonated with him in a special way.

“All parents can understand this emotion,” he concluded. We’ve been on the road for a long time and I haven’t seen my son. I can not wait to see it. »

He’s probably not the only one.


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