Nordiques fans to invade Isles game

Peter Stastny signs autographs during the Blue March in Quebec City on Oct. 2, 2010. (QMI...

Peter Stastny signs autographs during the Blue March in Quebec City on Oct. 2, 2010. (QMI Agency/Simon Clark)

STEPHANE CADORETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:47 PM ET

QUEBEC -- Following the fan frenzy of Quebec City's Blue March in October, Nordiques Nation is stepping up their friendly attack.

On Saturday, the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale will be invaded by 23 buses packed with hockey fanatics demanding the return of the Quebec Nordiques.

Two French players, defenceman Bruno Gervais and right wing Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, are well aware that approximately 1,200 visitors will be playfully dressed in blue for the Islanders game against another team threatened with extinction, the Atlanta Thrashers.

Gervais admits that the excitement will animate the rink.

"Both as a player and as a Quebecer of the National Hockey League, that's what you want to see. Sometimes in life, it's easy to talk. It's one thing to yell goodbye to the Nordiques, but it is another thing to make it happen," Gervais said earlier this week.

"That's the thing to do. The people of Quebec do everything in their power to prove they are ready to get back a club," he said.

However, Gervais could be offended to see such a delegation of outside fans filling up the outdated and usually empty Nassau Coliseum.

Mediocre for several years, the Islanders are shunned by fans and are among the teams that have been rumoured of moving away over the past few seasons.

"The guys on the team who are aware of the visit of Quebec fans are very cool with that. I'm sure people will cheer for the Islanders anyway.

"And all the better if more people than usual in the stands. We do not control what happens outside of the ice and we just want to try to win that game," argued the native of Longueuil.

The 26-year-old, who is in his sixth season with the team, said that the Islanders are in New York to stay.

"The fan base is definitely there. There was a dynasty here, and people want a winning team. The second we get back to winning, the arena will fill quickly. Last year, the subject of the move came back often, but then it fell dead."

Even if he has his hands full with the Thrashers, Gervais will still be thinking of the other visitors in the bleachers.

"In the heat of the moment, we will see it and realize that there will be many Nordiques sweaters. It'll be special."


Videos

Photos