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Even a non-Canucks fan appreciates

Sunday, 09.13.2009 / 4:46 PM / Hockeyville 2009

By Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

TERRACE, British Columbia -- Edward Gray was in the minority at the Stanley Cup Jamboree on Sunday.

Sure, he was just as excited as everyone else at George Little Park to see the Stanley Cup in town. But while almost everyone in the park was decked out in Vancouver Canucks gear, Gray was supporting the other team that will take ice at Terrace Sportsplex on Monday night.

"I'm really more of an anti-Canuck fan," said Gray, a New Brunswick native who has lived in Terrace for the last 12 years. "I'm actually a (Maple) Leafs fan. I've even got the tattoo on my arm. My brother was a big Islanders fan and I knew Bryan Trottier was coming and of course the Islanders are coming, so I thought I might as well get a jersey and try to get an autograph and cheer the team on."

Gray is one of the lucky ones who will be in the arena on Monday night to see the Canucks play the Isles. He's been blown away by how Kraft Hockeyville has taken Terrace by storm and believes the competition was something the town desperately needed.    

"It's just been awesome," said Gray, who teaches at a local elementary school. "It really brought the town together. Everybody just jumped on board -- almost the whole northwest. It's been great. We needed it for this community."

Hearing that is music to Dino Bianco's ears. The Kraft Canada president is stunned by how just how much the corporation's program has grown since it began in Salmon River, Nova Scotia back in 2006.

"We're creating memories here," Bianco said. "It's galvanizing in the community. The pride is there. It starts off as a thought and then it just builds momentum within the community. We're thrilled to be a part of it."

Contact Brian Compton at: bcompton@nhl.com.
Quote of the Day

This is a big year for us in a lot of ways. You can see Garth and management really trying to find that solution to get us into the playoffs and consistently have that. The pressure is great. You have to enjoy it. It just means there's a great opportunity ahead of you.

— Islanders captain John Tavares