O’Byrne playing with a heavy heart

It’s been said the Canadiens are a family unto themselves. It’s something Habs defenceman Ryan O’Byrne has learned in the past weeks and months, leading to and since last Sunday’s loss of his mother, Lorelei, to breast cancer.

The 25-year-old flew home to Victoria early last month to spend a few days with his mother, who was in the final stages of a disease she’d been battling since O’Byrne was in junior hockey. Canadiens GM Bob Gainey encouraged him to take 10 days, time O’Byrne now cherishes before he’ll attend his mom’s memorial service back home during the Olympic break.

O’Byrne sat quietly in the dressing room after practice yesterday and shared a little of what has been on his mind, and how he’s taken strength from those around him. Here’s that story.

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