CALUMET — Copper Country has been prepping for more than a month now for their biggest event of the year, and the biggest event the Calumet Colisseum has seen in its 100+ years, an NHL game taking place between the defending Stanley Cup Champion, St. Louis Blues and the Detroit Red Wings.
Today is the big day, the culmination of Hockeyville week in Calumet that will end with an NHL game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues. As the buses pulled up with the teams, the crowd roared to welcome them to the oldest hockey rink in the world.
Life in the NHL means seeing fans everywhere you go, but for the players this morning, it was something they weren’t quite expecting. NHL
“No, I mean pulling up on the bus, all the guys were like ‘Oh, and we didn’t really know what to expect.’ You know the fans here look happy, and they bring a lot of energy so it’s pretty fun,” said Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser
The fans have been a major part of this experience since the very beginning: the campaigning, the voting, and now, being there to support the teams.
“Right from when we got here, at the airport, there were fans,” said Dylan Larkin of the Red Wings. “Then we had the red carpet and that was pretty cool. And then, a sold out practice here, so it’s been cool. They’re really taking it in, and so are we. So, it’s a lot of fun today, so far.”
Both the Wings and the Blues were showered with cheers and applause as they walked down the red carpet toward the colosseum, taking pictures and signing autographs on their way.
“Yeah, it’s an awesome opportunity,” said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill. “You know, obviously, it’s a long trip from Detroit for these hockey fans, so to be able to come up here and touch this group is really awesome.”
When the clock finally hits zero, it won’t matter what the score is. The real winner is the city of Calumet. Its kids getting to share the ice with their NHL idols. Its fans getting to watch the defending Stanley Cup champions take on one of the most storied franchises in NHL history. It’ll be a great night, and one they won’t soon forget.