When the Canadian Olympic Men’s Hockey Team was announced on Jan. 11, only one player hailing from the province of Saskatchewan was included.
That of course is Wakaw’s own Linden Vey, and his small town of 1,000 people are making sure he knows how proud they are.
On Feb. 14, Wakaw will be dressed in red not because of Valentine’s Day, but for ‘Vey Day in Wakaw.’
Wakaw Mayor Steven Skoworodko declared Vey Day and encouraged his town to wear red or a custom made Vey Canada jersey that day, one sleep before Team Canada’s first Olympic game against Switzerland.
“I think there’s a lot of pride,” Skoworodko said. “There’s only one player on the roster from Saskatchewan and it happens to be from Wakaw. We’re pretty excited that he’s on the roster.
“It’s a pretty big excitement for the community to have somebody from your community to represent Team Canada, especially in hockey. It’s a real Canadian game and that’s what we’re excited about, that Linden is representing Canada on that stage and representing Wakaw and Saskatchewan.”
Vey’s career has taken him all over the place.
On Jan. 18, Vey was transferred to the Zürcher Schlittschuh Club Lions in Zürich, Switzerland, after starting the season in Barys Astana, one of the founding teams in the KHL based in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana.
Prior to that, Vey played 138 games in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames from 2013-17, as well as their AHL affiliates.
But throughout his career, Skoworodko said Vey didn’t forget where he came from and visits the hometown regularly.
“He’s a very humble gentleman, you wouldn’t even know he’s played at that level of hockey,” Skoworodko said. “He’s a really great guy to be around.”
‘Vey Day’ isn’t the only thing going on in Wakaw to honour its player. Up until Feb. 10, a big Canada flag is being passed around to be signed, before being delivered by Vey’s family to him in Pyeongchang.
They’re also holding a contest to who has the best Vey/Team Canada decorations in their windows, a #SmallTownBigPride initiative on Twitter and a viewing party on Feb. 16 at 9 p.m. for a showing of Team Canada’s game against the Czech Republic.
On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW
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