All Prince George residents are Stanley Cup champions!

That was one of the quotes Brett Connolly emphasized during his ‘Thank You’ speech before an estimated 2,500 people packed in the CN Centre this afternoon, celebrating his Stanley Cup victory with the Washington Capitals.

The 26-year-old says he’s grateful to see so much support from fans, family, and even complete strangers.

“I’m very happy and excited. The fans have been very happy and respectful as well, and it means a lot to me. This means so much for this city and means a lot to me to see everybody come down and support me. There’s a lot of people here that have supported me for a very long time.”

The event, which saw many young kids in hockey sweaters get their first glimpse of hockey’s holy grail, also took note of the more than 2,700 evacuees in the Northern capital displaced by wildfires.

Connolly says he’s aware of what’s going on out west, and even got a chance to talk with a few evacuees himself.

“It’s a scary time for a lot of people, for sure. So we just tried to include as many people as we can and then help out as much as we could. Those are people that are having a scary time right now and hopefully, we can put a smile on their face.”

Connolly took photos galore with several young players as a way of thanking PG Minor Hockey for everything they did for him on his journey to the NHL.

He is now the third Prince George Cougar to hoist the Stanley Cup.

All proceeds from the celebration’s silent auctions are to benefit the Brock Hirsche Foundation in honour of Connolly’s old friend and teammate.