When the Stanley Cup final begins next week, the residents of Almonte in eastern Ontario will be faced with a tough call — whether to cheer for the hometown boy or for what many consider their hometown team.
Kent Huskins, who grew up in the community 50 kilometres west of downtown Ottawa, has been playing defence for the Anaheim Ducks since he was called up from the minors just three months ago.
Almonte's Kent Huskins, right, will play defence for the Anaheim Ducks against the Ottawa Senators in the Stanley Cup final.
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Ducks won the Western Conference final against the Detroit Red Wings with a victory on Tuesday. That means they'll be facing off in the Cup final against the Ottawa Senators — a team whose home arena, Scotiabank Place, is in the city's far west end, only 26 kilometres from Almonte.
Huskins's father, Les Huskins, is quick to admit that Almonte is home to a lot of loyal Senators fans.
"Some of them who grew up with Kent and went to school with him, played minor hockey with him, I know will be cheering him on — but they'll also be cheering for their Senators, I'm sure," he said.
Patrick Dubroy, a longtime friend of Kent Huskins and a longtime Senators fan, said he and his friends have been discussing the possible matchup since the playoffs opened.
"But of course, originally it was just a pipe dream, really. No one really thought it would actually happen," he recalled. "I have to say, I was cheering for Kent, for sure, but I was a little bit scared about it coming down to this."
Dubroy said he hopes his friend scores a goal in the playoffs, but he also hopes that the Ottawa Senators are the ones that bring home the coveted Cup.
Almonte residents aren't the only eastern Ontario residents faced with such a dilemma.
Another Anaheim defenceman, Sean O'Donnell, was born in Ottawa.