September 13, 2009

What Is Kraft Hockeyville, Anyways?

I'm pretty sure a lot of New York Islanders fans were scratching their heads when they looked at their team's pre-season schedule"
Sept. 14th - Islanders @ Canucks at Terrace, BC
Where? Terrace, BC? A quick look at the map tells us Terrace is much closer to Sarah Palin's Alaska than it is the Olympic city of Vancouver. Why on earth are the Islanders travelling all the way up there?

The answer lies in the city's one day name change. On September 14th all eyes of the hockey world will be on Hockeyville.

Terrace, BC won the Kraft Hockeyville 2009 competition. It is a Canadian reality television show on the CBC, and sponsored by Kraft, in conjunction with the NHL and NHLPA. Small communities across Canada compete to be declared the most spirited hockey community in Canada. The winner, as voted by the fans, gets $100,000 for rink improvements. More importantly, they get a NHL exhibition game in their small town.

The Canucks and the Islanders were selected to play in this year's Hockeyville game. For the Islanders it is the second time they will compete in the annual Hockeyville game. They lost 4-3 in overtime to the Atlanta Thrashers in North Bay, Ontario in 2007.

"It is an honour to be selected to play in Terrace, the winner of Kraft Hockeyville 2009," said Garth Snow, New York Islanders General Manager. "The Terrace community embodies the passion that all hockey fans feel about NHL hockey."

Approximately 1200 people will squeeze into Terrace's Main Arena to watch the game. Although Terrace recently built a NHL-sized sheet of ice, the original arena was chosen to host the game because it has a significantly higher seating capacity.

Terrace is a city of approximately 12,000 people, with a regional population of about 20,000. That means almost the entire population of the region could fit into either Nassau Coliseum or GM Place!

Related: Earlier this year I wrote a piece explaining what Hockeyville really means. It's more about our community and our kids than it is about hockey.

GHL Hockeyville coverage sponsored by Skeena River Fishing Lodge:

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