Sometimes hockey has to take a back seat and that's why the Ottawa Senators have interrupted their four-game road trip to come home.
Before they face the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, the Senators attended an Ottawa memorial service for Daron Richardson, daughter of assistant coach Luke Richardson. She died Saturday at the age of 14.
The Senators learned of her death while beginning their trip in Boston on Saturday night. After playing at Philadelphia on Monday, they made an unexpected return home to pay their respects to Richardson, a former teammate and longtime NHL defenseman, and his family.
"We play hockey for a living, it's our job, but this is more important," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said.
Daron Richardson, the younger of Luke and Stephanie Richardson's two daughters, died of injuries resulting from her attempt to hang herself in the family's basement on Friday.
"It's difficult and when you have a family, you start questioning yourself as a parent," said Alfredsson, a father of three young boys. "What would you do, especially when it's coming out of the blue like this?"
The Richardson family is from Ottawa and is well known for its involvement in the community. As a result, a public celebration of Daron's life took place Wednesday morning on the arena floor at Scotiabank Place.
It is sad that Daron Richardson decided that life wasn't worth living. I don't know the reasons that she decided it wasn't, but my prayers go out to her family and friends. It goes to show you that even those families that you think have it made because they have money and fame are still just like everyone else. And I tip my hat to the Senators organization and players. They understand that their assistant coach is dealing with loss, questions, and uncertainty after this. And they will be there supporting him and his family every chance that they get, I am sure of that.