Nick Peardon will be in one of the biggest hockey markets Saturday when the NHL returns.
The 19-year-old Cornwall native and his twin brother Nathan won the Montreal Canadiens’ your passion is showing contest this summer. The prize: two tickets to the home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
With the NHL lockout settled, the Peardons are preparing for the game.
“The Habs/Leafs have such a storied rivalry, and every time they play it's with sheer competitiveness by each team,” Nick said. “The fact that it is on Hockey Night in Canada also makes it all the more special. This will be the 60th season of the broadcast, and I can think of no better way to kick it off then with an Original Six matchup.”
The Peardons, self-described fanatics, won the contest as the Canadiens’ biggest fan after submitting a video of their Habs room.
“People are taken back by the amount of colour, for one,” Nick said in describing the room. “The walls are done up like the jersey of the Canadiens — red white and blue.”
There are autograph photos of NHLers on one wall, a stand filled with Canadiens memorabilia and a team flag signed by alumni. There are also book and card collections and a slew of newspaper clippings.
“A lot of people, when they stop through and see our room, they’re pretty amazed. They think were the biggest fans,” Nick said. “We bleed bleu, blanc and rouge.”
The family built the home in 2009 and the room was created a short time later. As the family travels, they pick up different unique items to add to the collection.
Their video was an immediate hit. It made the top-18 finalists and an online contest whittled them down to the final two where a panel of five Canadiens players was the jury. Ryan White, David Desharnais, Travis Moen, Yannick Weber and Lars Eller selected the Peardons the winners.
“It’s a really big honour,” Nick said. “They have such passionate fans. They are such a storied franchise, even outside the hockey world.”
A lot of people, when they stop through and see our room, they’re pretty amazed. They think were the biggest fans, - Nick Peardon, Montreal Canadiens fan and Cornwall resident
The brothers’ love for the Canadiens is rooted deep in family history. Nick said his father Steve, and his father Preston, were fans of the team and it has been passed down through the generations.
The family’s cat is even named Theodore after the team’s former goalie Jose.
Nick, who is studying arts at the University of New Brunswick and hopes to purse a law degree, wasn’t alive in 1993 when the Canadiens last won the Stanley Cup.
He said the 2010 playoff run when Jaroslav Halak backstopped them to the conference final is a memorable moment.
“He had an incredible run and gave us Habs fans a lot of hope for that season,” he said.
This won’t be the Peardons first time to la belle province to watch his beloved Canadiens. They have been to the Bell Centre before and are anxious for Saturday’s 8 p.m. Atlantic game.
“The atmosphere is just crazy. It gives you goose bumps every time you go there,” he said.