Isles Files

Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.

Saskatoon's biggest Isles fan found

Arnie Zezula

Arnie Zezula (Credit: Katie Strang)

 Mission complete. Second visit to Husky Truck stop was a success. Not too difficult to spot Saskatoon's biggest Islanders fan Arnie Zezula. After all, he was the only one in the place wearing a personalized Islanders jersey :)

Arnie was nice enough to sit down with me before his 3 p.m. shift and shed some light on how he came to like the Islanders, despite the 2,164 miles that separates him from the Nassau Coliseum.

He grew up a Boston Bruins fan, idolizing Bobby Orr of course, but once the Islanders entered the National Hockey League he decided to switch allegiances. After 4 Stanley Cups won and the success of certain Saskatchewan players like Bryan Trottier, Clark Gillies, and Bob Bourne, Zezula's zealous fandom was affirmed.

That's why he was notified before most of the general public by a member of the Saskatoon Blades when the organization learned the Islanders would be holding their training camp at the Credit Union Centre. Zezula is a known fixture at Blades games--he occupies the seat next to the penalty box always wearing an Islanders jersey--and as such, everyone knew he had to be the first to know his favorite team was coming into town.

"It can't be true," Zezula said once he was informed. "You're making my dream come true."

Zezula will first see the Islanders once they practice Wednesday morning--his first day off work since the Islanders arrive--and with him he'll be bring a Stanley Cup Champion banner to pay homage to the Dynasty years  and two books for John Tavares to sign.

"My heart is throbbing right now," Zezula said of the building anticipation.

He'll also be attending the Islanders game vs. Edmonton on Sunday, a day he's had circled on the calendar for a long time.

"It's one of the best things Saskatoon has ever done for us," Zezula said.

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Talk about a die-hard fan. And just in case you were curious about where he stands on the issue, know that  many of you have solidarity in Saskatoon: Arnie was wearing a Lighthouse hat as well :)

Tags: Islanders , Saskatoon , Bryan Trottier , Clark Gillies , Bob Bourne

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