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Home is where the heart is for Stanley Cup finalists

BurfordHome is where the heart is for Stanley Cup finalists

While Brandon Montour and Adam Henrique will be competing to win the 2024 Stanley Cup, neither player is forgetting their roots as they prepare for the biggest games of their lives.

Montour, who was born and raised in Six Nations of the Grand River, and Adam Henrique, who grew up in Burford, discussed their hometowns and the ongoing support from home before the Stanley Cup Finals, which are set to begin on Saturday, June 8, 2024.

“The support from home has always been great. For me, I don’t necessarily see it all of the time but I know I hear it all the time from mom and everybody, and everybody that she runs into. Whether it’s family or just friends of mine, or friends of mom and dad’s, or my brother’s friends, whoever it is, they always make sure to pass along the messages,” explained Henrique.

Adam Henrique #19 of the Edmonton Oilers skates with the puck in front of Alexander Petrovic #28 of the Dallas Stars during the first period in Game Five of the Western Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 31, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Henrique said he received support from home during the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Stars.

“Last week, my brother’s kids and my cousin’s kids all go to Blessed Sacrament School now, and that’s where we went to school when we were younger, and they had an Oilers day, which was pretty cool,” said Henrique. “So they, they took a big video during the day, and they sent that along during the West finals, which was pretty special. Those moments make you really appreciate things because I’m not always there, and don’t see those things, but you certainly feel them. And it is a great feeling getting all of that support all of the time.”

Brandon Montour #62 of the Florida Panthers hits Alexander Wennberg #91 of the New York Rangers during the third period in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amerant Bank Arena on June 01, 2024 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

While Henrique has received hometown support this year, Montour, discussed the support he received during last year’s Stanley Cup Finals.

“It’s just the way I grew up, you know, I think that’s just how my family raised me and my brothers and our support system back there whether it’s family, friends, the community; you’d like to stick to your roots and remember where you came from,” Montour said, during the 2023 Stanley Cup Finals. “I’ve seen a few photos and a few videos, but I heard that they had a couple of watch parties; I have all the support down there. Win or lose, they’re supporting me and the team. They’re happy with what I’m doing and what our team is doing.”

Adam Henrique #19 of the Edmonton Oilers fights for the puck against Matt Duchene #95 of the Dallas Stars in the first period during Game Five of the Western Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 31, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Henrique went on to address the importance and value of having Burford support him during his quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

“The hometown support is great it just pushes you to want to be even better. I guess I’ve never really seen myself as a star, or, you know, that kind of thing. I’m just Adam, I just play hockey. And that’s how it’s always been, even with family. I understand it’s special what we do, and we’re lucky to be able to be players in the NHL, but at times, I think my brothers love it more than I do,” admitted Henrique. “I love doing what I do, but it’s special to be able to share it with everybody; everybody gets excited, everybody loves watching, everybody loves coming to visit, and that’s what kind of drives me. It makes it special for me. I have two young kids, and it’s fun to have them around, even though they’re too young to probably understand, but it’s still special for me in that way.”

While Henrique will always have Burford’s support from long distance, he will have more local support when the Stanley Cup Finals kick off on Saturday in Florida.

“My wife, Lauren, and my daughters, made it up last Thursday for Game Six. Really, that’s the first time everybody’s been up here. I haven’t seen my oldest daughter for a while, so it’s special to have them here, and it was special to have them here for that game,” he said. “For the Cup Finals, we called our family the next day and they had already booked flights and booked hotels. Everything was already done. So that was like a rarity, but it was nice that everything was already done somehow. I just have to get the tickets, I guess, and they’ve got the airfare and hotels covered, which is good. Mom and Dad are coming, my three brothers and their their wives and girlfriend and the kids as well so it’ll be a lot of fun, not just for me, but it will be fun to have everybody together.”

Adam Henrique #19 of the Edmonton Oilers scores a goal against Jake Oettinger #29 of the Dallas Stars during the second period in Game Three of the Western Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on May 27, 2024 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Leila Devlin/Getty Images)

With the Cup final right around the corner, Henrique reflected on what it means to have both himself and Montour representing the region on the grandest stage of them all.

“It’s really very special. When you really look at the numbers of how many players make it to the NHL in the end, it’s very, very small, and growing up, that’s the dream. Anytime they ask you in school, that’s what you write down on the paper, I’m going to play in the NHL. Whether that’s a pipe dream or not, that’s the dream, and we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to live that dream, and now we’re on the pinnacle of a championship, both of us, and that is what we play for and have always dreamed of,” Henrique said. “It’s special but it can kind of tug at the heartstrings playing against a good friend, but, at the same time, for the both of us to make it and kind of put back home on the map is pretty cool for us. I think, at the end of the day, we just try to make everybody back home proud of our accomplishments. It is pretty special to be able to come from a small town and make it to where we are.”

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