The New York Islanders will spend Thanksgiving Day together this year in Florida.
Palm trees offer different surroundings for a familiar scene, as hockey players are accustomed to being away from their families during the November holiday.
That’s when the hockey family steps in.
“It’s going to be great, it’s always fun to have a big meal with each other” Anders Lee said. “Pass around all the good food that makes Thanksgiving and remembering the fun day that it is.”
Prior to the team’s dinner Thursday, Eric Boulton hosted a number of teammates at the annual Boulton Family Thanksgiving. According to Lee, who went for his second straight year, Boulton Family Thanksgiving is one of the top Turkey Day destinations on Long Island.
“It’s pretty wild,” Lee said. “All the kids are there; it’s really fun.”
Lee’s got the appetite to handle two Thanksgivings in three days. As for his favorite Thanksgiving dish?
“Stuffing is awesome,” he said. “With turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. I’m a sucker for everything.”
So, all of them… though he did say the Lee’s have a pretty good sweet potato casserole recipe, ripe with pecans and brown sugar.
As far as the bird goes, an informal poll determined there was an even 50/50 split between white meat and dark meat lovers, while stuffing proved to be the most popular side.
“I’m a big fan of stuffing,” Brock Nelson said. “It’s a classic that gets forgotten about during the year.”
While the Islanders are big on stuffing, they’re pretty light on traditions. The Okposo’s play cards, while nearly everyone watches football before a post-meal nap.
“Probably the nap after the meal is my favorite part [of Thanksgiving],” Kyle Okposo said. “You just watch some football, relax on the couch and shut ‘er down for a little bit.”
And because the Islanders are doing Thanksgiving as a family, someone is responsible for carving the turkey.
“Probably Boults,” Lee said. “He’ll have an electric knife or something to help him out.”
“I don’t know if I trust Boults,” Nelson said.
Happy Thanksgiving, Isles fans!