Hello. To start with, I must say that I've been an Isles fan since their first day in the league. I'm from Coaticook, QC so no need to say that almost everybody around here are Canadians fans :-( But not me. I've been with the team during the bad years and went flying with them during the glory years :-) Ok, now my story:
It goes back to 1984 and the "drive for five" year. During that season, Paul Bouthillier was playing for the Isles and my best friend became friends with him because he married a girl from around here :-). They often played golf together. We were big hockey fans in those years and we had visited 15 different arena's in the NHL.
Paul Bouthillier set us up with tickets for a Rangers game, a Devils game and of course an Islanders game against the Stanley Cup winner that year, the Oilers. Grrrrr
What we didn't know was that after the game, we were invited in the locker room!!! Just imagine my face when i pushed open the door with the enormous Isles logo on it. I still have feelings soo many years later and of course, everybody was in the dressing room: Bossy, Trottier, Gillies. Just name them, they where there.
Billy Smith was soo nice to all of us. We were four Quebecers in the Isles dressing room treated like we were family. Just unbelievable!!! And to top that off, Clarke Gillies had a restaurant back then and he invited us there with the players :-). Not every player went, but if my memory is right there, there were something like 16 guys. So there we go, how could I not still be a fan, even during the tough years.
Thanks for reading my story. I tried my best like our team does night after night :-)