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Wakaw rallies around hometown Olympian Linden Vey
Vancouver Canucks' Linden Vey, second left, and Chris Tanev, right, celebrate Vey's goal as Columbus Blue Jackets' Brandon Dubinsky, left, skates past during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday Feb. 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Published Wednesday, February 14, 2018 6:51PM CST
Linden Vey is the only Saskatchewan-born member of Canada’s men’s hockey team at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and that’s reason for celebration in his hometown of Wakaw.
The town has declared Feb. 14, 2018, as Vey Day.
“Very, very proud of him,” said the 26-year-old’s grandfather, Max Fiolleau, who admits he didn’t expect to hear that his grandson was named to Team Canada.
“Very surprised that he made the team Olympic, because there’s a lot of good hockey players. But he was fortunate enough to make that team.”
Vey grew up playing for the Wakaw Warriors before moving up the hockey ranks to the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers. He was drafted by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round of the 2009 entry draft, and ended up playing 138 games in the league split between the Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames.
But the fact he made the NHL is certainly no surprise to his grandfather.
“Linden wanted to make the NHL when he was six years old. He was on the street playing hockey steady, steady, steady. That was his main goal in life, and he's made it.”
Store fronts, windows of the local school, and billboards in Wakaw have been decorated in red and white, with messages supporting the town’s first ever Olympic athlete.
"Our town obviously is 100 per cent behind Linden, and we're expecting nothing but the best from him and the Canadian Olympic hockey team,” said his former teacher Corey Viccum.
“And we're looking forward to Linden bringing back that gold medal and showing it off here at Wakaw School.”
Canada’s men’s hockey team plays its first game of the Games on Thursday against Switzerland.