Bonavista Mayor Betty Fitzgerald is anticipating one heck of a big day Aug. 30 when hometown hockey hero Michael Ryder brings the Stanley Cup to town.
"Oh my goodness, people can't wait," said the mayor Sunday.
Ryder confirmed Friday he'll be returning to his hometown with the Cup and the mayor said there is already a committee in place to handle things such as a motorcade for the much-anticipated event.
"We've had people away who were holding off on their holidays until they knew when he was coming," said Mayor Fitzgerald.
The mayor said she isn't certain how large the motorcade will be.
"We'll have to limit it somewhat or there will be a pretty big traffic jam," she said.
Ryder, who won the Cup with the Boston Bruins last month, signed with the Dallas Stars for US$7 million over two years on Friday, the first day of NHL free agency.
The 31-year-old forward had 41 points in the regular season and was fourth on the team in playoff scoring, including three goals and three assists in the Stanley Cup finals against the Canucks.
The mayor said the interest in Ryder's return started minutes after the Bruins won the Cup.
"My phone didn't stop ringing with people asking when the Cup was coming," she said with a laugh.
Mayor Fitzgerald said the town has been in touch with the people responsible for putting off the celebration for Danny Cleary when the Detroit Red Wings' forward returned home to Harbour Grace with the Stanley Cup three years ago.
"They sent us information on what they did and when we talk about it at our next meeting when we discuss the various sub committees such as security, traffic control and entertainment. We'll have committees to take care of everything," Fitzgerald said.
The mayor is expecting a huge crowd for the event.
"I'm thinking the crowd may be bigger than when Danny Cleary brought the Cup home," she said.
"It's going to be a big deal."
The mayor noted that if Dallas wins the Cup next year, "We might get to have the Cup for two days because we'll have two young fellas here, right?" she said referring to defenceman Adam Pardy, another Bonavista native, who signed Friday with Dallas.
Pardy, who spent the last three seasons with the Calgary Flames, signed for two years at $2 million per season.