Martin St. Louis was going to bury his mom on Saturday.
The NHL scheduled Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final for Saturday afternoon, and while both the funeral and the game are to take place in Montreal, a game in the middle of the afternoon would prevent St. Louis and his Rangers teammates from attending that Saturday funeral -- or, rather, would force the Rangers to play without St. Louis.
Thus, the team asked the NHL to move the game from the scheduled 1 p.m. ET start time on Saturday. They were told no, because NBC has to broadcast the Preakness -- which, while it may seem callous, is actually a fair denial by the league and its American broadcast partner. The Preakness Stakes brings in a lot of viewers and a lot of money, and it simply can't be moved.
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
The St. Louis family moved the funeral until Sunday, and the entire Rangers team will accompany their teammate to the ceremony, so everything worked out.
Rangers will attend Martin St Louis' mother's funeral on Sunday in Montreal between Games 1 and 2— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) May 15, 2014
But here's the question: Why couldn't Game 1 between the Rangers and Canadiens be moved until after the Preakness? That would allow the team to go to the funeral during the day and still be available for Game 1 at night, and it's not like NBC has anything to broadcast at after Preakness coverage ends at 6:30 p.m. ET, shortly after the 6:18 p.m. race ends. Here are NBC's listings in Washington, D.C. for Saturday:
In other news, there's nothing important on TV after the Preakness.