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All-Star spot dream come true for Sabres' O'Reilly

Sunday, 01.24.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

By Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

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All-Star spot dream come true for Sabres' O'Reilly
Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly says getting to play in the 2016 NHL All-Star Game is a dream come true

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville on Jan. 31 is a week away. In the lead-up to All-Star Weekend at Bridgestone Arena, NHL.com sat down with a host of this season's participants to talk about playing in the game. In this edition, Ryan O'Reilly discusses representing the Buffalo Sabres in the All-Star Game.

1. What does being an All-Star mean to you personally?

It's an absolute honor. I obviously want to thank the fans for voting for me. But growing up watching the All-Star Game and seeing the names that were in that and guys I idolized, so for me to be considered as one of those guys, it's a true honor. You always dream of it. But to actually have it come true and be considered one of the top players, it's like a dream come true.

2. What is your favorite memory of previous All-Star Games?

There's so many things. Really as a kid, watching the skills competition was always cool to see the fastest skater and the target shooting and just watching [Wayne] Gretzky, [Mario] Lemieux, and then watching [Pavel] Bure, [Mike] Modano, [Joe] Sakic, [Peter] Forsberg; you bring in all these guys to do their skill stuff, just to see all that talent on one ice [rink] is pretty amazing to see.

3. If you could invite any celebrity to the All-Star Game as your guest, who would it be and why?

That’s a tough one. I think it'd be cool to have a musician. I'm sure there'll be some country musicians around. But that'd be cool to hang out with someone like Kenny Chesney or Brad Paisley or someone like that. It'd be cool to [sightsee] in that area too; it'd be sweet.

4. Who from your divisional All-Star team would you put on your trio if you were the coach of the team?

I think [Erik] Karlsson would be pretty sweet. Playing against him, he's dangled me a few times and made me look bad so I think it'd be nice to be on the opposite end of that and working with him. I know he's quite the player and I think [Jaromir] Jagr. Just to say I was playing on a line with Jagr, working with Jagr, passing him the puck or whatever, that'd be pretty amazing.

5. In a perfect world you get to pick what song you skate out to for player introductions at the All-Star Game; what song would you choose?

"Circuital" by My Morning Jacket is probably one of my favorite pump-up songs of all-time. It's kind of tough because your walk-out isn't that long. If it were seven or eight minutes that would probably be the song I'd choose.

6. What if it were a song that's a little shorter?

I do like "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye. It's kind of cool. I'm a big R&B fan as well; it's what I grew up listening to. My first love of music was R&B so Marvin Gaye is the king for me. "Inner City Blues" has an awesome start and really kind of cool vibe too.

7. If you could have dinner with three other players from this year's All-Star Game, who would you pick and why?

Gosh … I'd probably pick guys I played World Championships with. [Claude] Giroux is one because he's always chirping and he's just funny. He always makes me laugh. On the ice sometimes you hate each other but he's a funny guy and he's always making me laugh. Another guy, I think Jagr would be one just to have story time with him and listen to everything he's done. I'm pretty close with Jamie Benn too. I've known him a few years playing with him. He's a great guy; I always like hanging out with him.

8. Cowboy boots or cowboy hat as a fashion accessory?

I'd say hat. Hat's a little easier. The boots I don't think I could pull off. But the hat? I could make it work.

9. Ever worn a cowboy hat?

No, never. No.

10. Alex Ovechkin passed 500 goals this season. Do you think he can get to 800 before he retires?

It wouldn't surprise me if he did. He's the greatest scorer of this era for sure. He's just a phenomenal player and any time he has a chance it's like he's shooting the puck through the net. I think it's a great accomplishment. The 500 is incredible; 800 is possible. I think he could do it. I just hope he doesn't score any against us.

11. Are you a country music fan?

I am a little bit. More in the summer I am, back home (Clinton, Ontario), my whole area is kind of country music. I love all music. But going to Nashville and even being back home, it brings back that small-town roots kind of thing.

12. Which Nashville food specialty will you try: Barbecue or hot chicken?

I'd probably say barbecue. I'm not a real spicy guy so it'd probably be the barbecue for me.

13. If you could take one teammate to the All-Star Game, who would it be?

I don't know, there's a lot of good guys I'd take. I'd probably take my boy [Jamie McGinn]. Ginner and I have been good friends for a long time. He's a good guy and he'd enjoy all the honky-tonk and stuff. He'd be a good guy to go with.

14. Which event at the Skills Competition do you want to do most?

"I'll tell you the one I least want to do, and that'd be fastest skater. I'm not really the best skater so I think that's the one I don't want to do for sure. I don't know what one they'll put me in. There's not one specific thing I excel at, but it'll be cool to see the other guys. Obviously the shootouts and stuff are fun; I love seeing what other guys have and it's always fun getting creative out there.

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