Pierre-Edouard Bellemare couldn't get home to France for the holidays, so he did the next best thing: He brought his family to Philadelphia.
For the first time in seven years, Bellemare said, his family will be together for Christmas. As part of a Christmas gift, the Flyers' second-year center had six relatives travel from different parts of France to be reunited in his adopted city.
"I'm lucky enough to be in the States for Christmas in this unbelievable atmosphere here," said Bellemare, 30, who grew up in Paris. "It felt like it was now or never to bring the whole family here, plus we have three homes games during the time they are here. It's pretty cool to show them what I'm living every day."
The family members are staying in a guest apartment in the same Center City building where Bellemare has a condo.
Bellemare's mom, his three sisters, his brother, and brother-in-law are visiting. One of his sisters, Rose-Eliandre, was an artistic gymnast in the 2008 Olympics.