ELMONT, NY — Prior to the New York Islanders game against the Vancouver Canucks, we had the chance to catch up with Anthony Beauvillier, who makes his return to UBS Arena after being traded on Jan. 30 in a deal for Bo Horvat.
NYI Hockey Now kicked off the chat, asking Beauvillier what it meant to play for the New York Islanders.
“It will always be a special place in my heart. Wearing an Islanders sweater, it was great,” Beauvillier said. “So much history behind the logo and that dynasty team, and it meant the world to me, and honestly, as I’ve said that before, I came here as a teenager and left as a man, and I owe everything to the organization, guys in locker room.”
Beauvillier may not have scored the biggest goal in New York Islanders history, but his overtime-winning goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nassau Coliseum to force an Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 in 2021 was a memory that Islanders fans will never forget.
“Someone sent that to me today, and I watched it again. Those are memories that are gonna last forever,” Beauvillier said. “I mean, it was such a great moment for not only myself but the team at the moment and then the fans. People stop me still in the street and tell me about the goal and stuff which is… that’s awesome.
“It’s going to be something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
As for being back so soon after being traded, Beauvillier wants this week to be over so he can truly get started with the Canucks and the Vancouver life.
“I get it out of the way and turn the page right away. And at the same time, it’s almost like, alright, I want to get going here in Vancouver, but still have two games left from a road trip,” Beauvillier said. “It’s been a weird, weird couple of days, and sinking in more and more every day, but I’m happy to be here.”
Mathew Barzal and Beauvillier are the best of friends, and Beauvillier is ready to face him for the first time in the NHL.
“It’s gonna be weird, but every time you play against your friend, you want to have the edge. You want to beat him, so it’s the same for him and the same for me. I’m going to try to do that tonight for sure.”
When we spoke to Beauvilier the morning after the trade, he was in a bit of shock still.
“Yeah, definitely a crazy couple of hours here,” Beauvillier said. “But yeah, it was definitely exciting to hear that I was part of Vancouver, and yeah, definitely, like I said, definitely some mixed emotions here. Tough to leave the Islanders, but at the same time, very, very excited to join this Canucks organization.”
Anthony Beauvillier ended his New York Islanders career with 102 goals and 107 assists in 457 regular season games, with 15 goals and 14 assists in 49 playoff games. He has no points in two games with the Canucks.