Marty St. Louis was expecting a quiet weekend with his family at their Connecticut home.
But when the Lightning right wing got off the plane Thursday, he got the news that he was on the East team for Sunday's All-Star Game in Montreal that will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Canadiens franchise.
"A once-in-a-lifetime experience," said St. Louis, 33, who grew up in the Montreal suburb of Laval.
It is the fifth All-Star Game for the Lightning's points leader, most among Tampa Bay players. He replaces Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, out because of a knee injury, and joins teammate Vinny Lecavalier.
"I'm really excited," Lecavalier said. "This is the third time me and Marty go together. He's a great player, a star in the league and deserves to be in Montreal. I'm glad we're going to live that experience together."
St. Louis is bringing sons Ryan, 5, Lucas, 3, and Mason, 1, but said he is most excited for Ryan:
"He watches a lot of hockey and was disappointed I didn't make the team. I got off the phone and high-fived him and told him we were going to the All-Star Game. He was pretty excited."
So is his dad.
Damian Cristodero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.