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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Dedication and making a difference

For Cedergren Larsson, one current Islander he holds a special connection with is Anders Lee. A proponent of Lee's first call-up from Bridgeport in 2012, Cedergren Larsson's friends refer to the Islanders captain as "your boy Anders." Lee has been one of the good guys in the NHL both on and off the ice since making his debut, named as a finalist for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy this season. Lee's work with Jam Kancer in the Kan has impacted Cedergren Larsson, as he has followed the captain's footsteps in an effort to fight pediatric cancer.

"After Anders' work with the JamKancer foundation, I started my own donation to Swedish children treated for cancer. I donated $1 for every single goal the Islanders scored in 2019-20, and added another $10 every time Anders scored. It felt great to do something for kids in need."

No matter the distance separating them from UBS Arena or the fans who pack the house each night, the dedication and support don't waver over distance. Though the Islanders may not have the biggest fan base in North America, they've been known to have one of the most passionate, which seems to have traveled overseas.

"I’ve never met another Swedish supporter group for any other American sports team that comes even close," said Cedergren Larsson. "I know the Rangers, for example, have a lot more fans in Sweden than the Islanders do. This is, of course, thanks to Hank (Henrik) Lundqvist. But despite this fact, I’ve never heard of a Rangers national meet-up - simply because there hasn’t been one. Either they don’t know how to organize, or, more likely the reason, their dedication doesn’t stretch further than Lundqvist’s career. We’ve had people travel from Lulea in the furthest northern parts of Sweden and people from Skane in the south to meet with fellow die-hard Islanders fans. That’s dedication!"