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Hockeyville Canada

O'Leary, Prince Edward Island wins Hockeyville Canada

Will host Senators-Devils preseason game on Sept. 25

NHL.com @NHL

O'Leary, Prince Edward Island, was named winner of Kraft Hockeyville on Saturday and will host a preseason game between the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils on Sept. 25.

O'Leary beat out almost 3,000 nominations to become the 11th winner of Kraft Hockeyville, which began in Canada in 2006. Communities submitted entries as to why their town was the most passionate and should host the annual NHL preseason game.

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Hockeyville Canada

Senators, Devils to face off in Hockeyville Canada

O'Leary, Prince Edward Island will host preseason game

NHL.com @NHL

NEW YORK/TORONTO -- The annual Kraft Hockeyville community competition culminated last night when O'Leary, Prince Edward Island was officially named this year's winner of Kraft Hockeyville, announced by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman during Hockey Night in Canada. The New Jersey Devils will make their first-ever Kraft Hockeyville appearance when they face the Ottawa Senators on September 25, 2017 for an NHL® preseason game in O'Leary, P.E.I. Nearly 3,000 nominations from communities across Canada were submitted for the eleventh annual campaign.

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Hockeyville Canada

Oilers' top line puts on show at Kraft Hockeyville

Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle, Milan Lucic create lasting memories for rabid fans

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

VERNON, British Columbia -- Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle felt like a kid again on Sunday.

A participant at the Kraft Hockeyville 2016 festivities, Eberle responded with a performance that bodes well for the future of the Oilers' new top line with center Connor McDavid and left wing Milan Lucic.

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Hockeyville Canada

Oilers, Kings sense excitement at Kraft Hockeyville

Will play preseason game in Vernon, British Columbia, on Sunday

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

VERNON, British Columbia -- The last time Edmonton Oilers forward Milan Lucic played a game in Vernon, he remembers being "wowed" by the chance to play at Kal Tire Place.

Twelve years later, the roles have been reversed. Lucic is back with the Oilers for a preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings as part of Kraft Hockeyville 2016 in Canada, and it's the people from Vernon that seem to be awestruck by the chance to watch Lucic and his teammates in action.

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Hockeyville Canada

Kings players inspire kids at Kraft Hockeyville

Brayden McNabb, Tanner Pearson deliver message that resonates with small town of Lundy, British Columbia

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

LUMBY, British Columbia -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb could relate to the kids in Lumby, the small town in the interior of British Columbia that won Kraft Hockeyville 2016 in Canada.

McNabb, 25, is from Davidson, Saskatchewan, a small farming community of a little more than 1,000 people. So when McNabb joined Kings teammate Tanner Pearson on Saturday to talk and take questions from kids and parents in Lumby, a town of 1,731, his answers carried more weight because he made the NHL after starting out in such a small town.

"It's pretty cool to see how the town gets up for an event like this because I grew up in a town with 1,000 people and the community was basically just sports, so you grow up in the rink," said McNabb, who played in Davidson until pee wee before moving to a boarding school to play.

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Hockeyville Canada

NHL referee back home for Kraft Hockeyville

Tom Kowal looking forward to 'very special experience' of officiating preseason game in Vernon, British Columbia

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

LUMBY, British Columbia -- When Tom Kowal left his hometown of Vernon, British Columbia at age 18 to pursue his dream of being an NHL referee, he never thought the League would bring him back to work a game. 

Almost 30 years later, Kowal is back in Vernon as part Kraft Hockeyville 2016 in Canada, and excited to referee a preseason game between the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings at Kal Tire Place on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN).

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Hockeyville Canada

Stanley Cup arrives at Kraft Hockeyville

Lumby, British Columbia, celebrates with trophy

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

LUMBY, British Columbia -- When the Stanley Cup arrived here Saturday, it wasn't hard to see how the small logging town won Kraft Hockeyville 2016 in Canada.

As Keeper of the Cup Mike Bolt escorted the trophy to a community celebration with two members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police by his side, the line of people waiting to see the Cup ran 5-6 across, all the way around three edges of a large field adjacent to Pat Duke Memorial Arena, and out into the parking lot.

Considering Lumby has 1,731 residents, it was impressive to see more than 2,000 people waiting for a chance to take a picture with the Stanley Cup. That didn't include hundreds of children inside the arena taking part in on-ice clinics being led by NHL alumni including Eric Godard, Dean McAmmond, David Oliver, Fernando Pisani, Jerred Smithson and Aaron Volpatti.

"I expected a huge crowd, that's why we got here this early," said James Saxton, who showed up 90 minutes before the Cup arrived with his son Jack and was first in line.

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Hockeyville Canada

Hockeyville having positive effect on winning town

Lumby, British Columbia, sees big increase in registrations ahead of weekend celebrations

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

LUMBY, British Columbia -- The NHL is bringing the Stanley Cup, the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings here for Kraft Hockeyville 2016 in Canada this weekend, but the positive impact of winning the event already has been felt in this small town, about a five-hour drive northeast of Vancouver.

Registrations to play in the Lumby Minor Hockey Association increased significantly this season, jumping from 70 players to more than 100, and forcing organizers in a town of 1,731 to cut off signups for the first time association president Kevin Porteous can remember. 

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Hockeyville Canada

Red Wings GM has fond memories of Hockeyville winner

Ken Holland grew up in nearby Vernon, British Columbia, 25-minute drive from Lumby

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland wasn't surprised by all the buzz surrounding Kraft Hockeyville 2016 in Canada when he went home this summer.

Holland was born and raised in Vernon, British Columbia, where the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings will play a preseason game at Kal Tire Place on Sunday as part of the celebrations, and spent a lot of time as a kid in nearby Lumby, the small town that won Kraft Hockeyville. He is well-versed in the area's hockey history and knows the passion that comes with it.

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Hockeyville Canada

Death of coach sparked Kraft Hockeyville campaign

Lumby, British Columbia bid inspired by loss of Peter Catt

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Rhonda Catt is trying to hold it together, offering unnecessary apologies as her voice cracks and she fights back tears talking about Kraft Hockeyville 2016 in Canada bringing the NHL to her hometown of Lumby, British Columbia this weekend.

For Catt, the event is more than just a celebration of hockey's grass roots and the way it brought together this small town in the British Columbia Interior. It is a celebration of the life for her husband, Peter, whose sudden death in November first shook, then rallied a community of 1,731 people, inspiring the drive that led to Lumby winning Kraft Hockeyville.

"For me it just keeps Peter alive," Rhonda said. "I want to be able to talk about him and I want to be reminded of him and remind others of him. I don't want him to be forgotten.

"He was a good man, he was great with kids and he loved the sport and because there was so much positive energy trying to drive this Hockeyville win on behalf of him, it makes me feel good because I know other people want to remember him like that too."

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