Gervais Stays an Islander 7-25-08

7th Woman's picture

How sad that I had to find out this great news first thing on my NYIC message board. I would love to be able to wake up and find such happy news in my own email inbox. But once again, I’m left to find out from other NYIC members with insomnia who post during the wee hours of the morning.

I’m very happy that Garth managed to lock Bruno up for an amicable 3 year contract. Bruno is one of those young players who has ingratiated himself to the fans, the media, and anyone who has the pleasure of meeting him.

Drafted in 2003 in the 6th round at the tender age of 18, I remember when he first played on the Sound Tigers during the ‘04 season. He was nothing more than a boy who looked even younger than he actually was. Thin and pale with pout-y lips and wide eyes. His English wasn’t the best, but he was a striking presence on the ice for such a young player. But whenever I’d see him in street clothes, I’d always comment, “Someone please feed that boy. He needs a cheeseburger.”

But teenagers are deceptively strong, and that was Bruno. Bridgeport was his training ground even though he played only 55 games with them. But then he made his way up to Uniondale, still basically just a kid. He started to grow into his body, and his English improved and his personality began to shine.

A quick witted comedian with a charming smile, he quickly became a favorite of ITV. So much so that Josh Bernstein and his ITV staff named what became an annual award after him for the player “Most Appreciated By Islanders TV.” The award is called the “Bruno” as it was first presented to Gervais. In 2008, it was presented to Brendan Witt by Steve Mears. Witter was surprised that it was an ACTUAL award, engraved and everything!

Gervais not only offers so much on the ice to his team mates, but so much to the Long Island community. We always talk about “home grown” talent. Well, Gervais may have been born and raised in Longueuil, QC, Canada, but he has grown into a man within the Islanders organization. We’re lucky to have him, and I’m sure Chris Campoli is a happy man today too. They worked so perfectly together on the ice, they never had to wonder where the other one was. When injuries began to plague them, you could see the loss.

So Welcome Home Bruno, glad to have you. And as I said when the Blog Box had the pleasure of interviewing you last season… with that accent, you could read me a cereal box and I’ll pay very, very close attention.