The Life of an International NY Islanders Die-Hard: Sweden

National Day in Sweden 2022
National Day in Sweden 2022 / Michael Campanella/GettyImages
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Why the Islanders?

For those who grew up on Long Island, it's pretty clear why they were drawn to the Islanders. While plenty decided to cheer for the big-city NY Rangers instead, many stayed loyal to the only professional team of the four major sports on the island. But for Magnus and those so far away, why the Islanders? Why choose to cheer on a team from the suburbs in a place many people likely have never heard of?

"I remember me as a kid in 1984 watching the game, or perhaps highlights, from the Islanders vs. Oilers Stanley Cup Finals on TV," said Cedergren Larsson. "I didn’t know about the four cups then, but after that, years went on and I didn’t follow the NHL much due to lack of coverage in Sweden. But in 1990, I bought an NHL Yearbook magazine, and as I started to browse through, I came to the page about the Islanders and stopped browsing. I then recalled my experience from ‘84 and thought to myself, 'Hey, this is my team'.

It's funny how some of the most innocent inconspicuous moments send you off in a particular direction for the rest of your life. For some, it may be a moment that caught their heart, or for others, it could be a player. Sometimes it's both.

"Looking at Pat LaFontaine’s stats from the 89-90 season, in my purchased yearbook, made me realize how he carried the team on his shoulders," Cedergren Larsson. "So, even if I hadn’t watched him play, he sort of became a favorite of mine. Watching clips on Youtube these days makes me just more impressed by his game."