NEW YORK -- As a child, New York Islanders captain John Tavares spent the majority of his free time skating on the backyard rink of Sam Gagner, a neighborhood friend who has gone on to play for the Edmonton Oilers. Those memories came flooding back Tuesday.
Tavares' trip down memory lane was triggered when he and his teammates found themselves at Yankee Stadium, preparing for their 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series showdown with the New York Rangers on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).
"We used to spend six, seven hours out there," Tavares said of his childhood days of skating with Gagner. "I remember not being able to feel my fingers or toes for a few hours. That was a lot of fun.
"Ramsey Lake, up in Sudbury, Ontario, where my family's from, being a little kid my dad used to bring me out there. Minor hockey too, before I played with Sam, we used to play once a week outside on just a local outdoor rink. It wasn't so much practice, we would just go out there and play shinny and have fun and just enjoy playing the game. We played a lot outside, and I'm looking forward to create some more memories [Wednesday]."