TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The 2018 NHL All-Star Weekend may have been swamped with local Tampa Bay Lightning fans, but fans with allegiances elsewhere showed up to Amalie Arena in droves.
Toronto Maple Leafs fans Sean Ennis and Joe Power traveled to Tampa from Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We’ve been hockey fans all our lives and Tampa is such a beautiful city to come to, so we just took the opportunity to come down and enjoy the festivities,” said Ennis.
He was happy to be in Tampa. Ennis said the weather in Newfoundland was “probably negative 30 degrees.”
Power said neither of them knew anything about Gasparilla until they saw the Invasion on TV Saturday morning.
Los Angeles Kings fans Louis Smithingham and Derek Sinock said the same.
“This whole, like, crazy pirate thing is pretty cool,” said Smithingham. “We thought it was a root beer festival.”
“He thought it was called SARSPARILLA,” explained Sinock.
The pair traveled from San Diego and New York to experience All-Star Weekend. They had the idea to just get up and travel to Tampa.
“I was watching a really depressing game with the Devils and the Wings, the Devils basically have a bunch of teenagers on their team, and it was really bad,” said Smithingham.
“I called him and I was like ‘maybe we should go to the All-Stars!'”
A family attending the All-Star PreGame came dressed in an array of different teams’ jerseys.
The matriarch of the family was the only attendee dressed in Lightning gear.
Her sons donned Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers and Colorado Avalanche jerseys.
She explained her husband works for the Lightning, but her sons were born in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. The son in the Avalanche jersey jumped on the Colorado bandwagon a few years ago.
Various other colors could been seen through a sea of bright blue Lightning jerseys, but all fans were in Tampa to celebrate the best of the best in the National Hockey League and have a lot of fun during All-Star weekend.RELATED COVERAGE:
- NHL All-Star PreGame gets fans from all teams pumped at Amalie Arena
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