knew that today could be a special day, though it was one day that he wanted to approach just like any other game day. In the back of his mind, he knew the NHL planned to announce the rosters for the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend and he hoped that he would be one of the players selected. But when two points are on the line, the 21-year-old’s focus was mature beyond his years. He was focused on playing the Philadelphia Flyers.
With no announcement from the league before he left the Coliseum after the morning skate, Tavares returned home for his afternoon nap. About noon, he received a phone call from his mentor and friend, Islanders assistant coach Doug Weight. He made the cut.
“I’m definitely thrilled about it,” Tavares said.
|John Tavares addresses the media about being selected to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game at Nassau Coliseum on January 12, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images) |
He added, “I tried to approach today like any other game day. That’s where I have to keep most of my focus on. It was definitely nice to hear and find out before I came to the rink today so I could just enjoy it and let the people know that I wanted to know.”
Those people were Barbara and Joe Tavares, his parents back home in Mississauga, ON.
“I texted my mom right away,” Tavares said. “I didn’t make any phone calls. I knew I needed to get some rest so I didn’t want to be on the phone for too long. I sent a text to my parents and they were really happy.”
Tavares didn’t make a ton of calls, as he didn’t want to get hung up on the phone when he knew he needed to rest before the game, but he is proud to receive this recognition.
“It’s a great honor to represent our organization and our hockey team, to represent them for the NHL and throughout the league. I couldn’t be any happier or more excited to do that. It’s a special event, a special game, and to do it as an Islander, it’s pretty cool.”
And though Tavares leads the Islanders in points for the third straight season - with 39 points (14 goals and 25 assists) - he still feels that he hasn’t reached his fullest potential. The Isles offensive leader said he’s still maturing and learning every day.
“I’ve felt I’ve been getting better every year, every game,” Tavares said. “I feel like I’m just getting to know the league a lot better. I feel my game is evolving, just me as a person and I think it’s all translating and coming together every year, every day. So it’s another step for me. It’s exciting to know that when you’re recognized like this, you know you’re doing some good things and you’re making an impact out there. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Spoken like a true All Star.