On Saturday, Bo Horvat at the Pacific Division All-Stars fell to the Central 6-4. The loss signified the official end of Horvat’s time representing the Western Conference, as he will join the New York Islanders at practice Sunday and gear up to make his Islanders debut on Monday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“It was great, but at the same time, I want to get going,” Bo Horvat said following the All-Star Game. “Like, that’s enough now. Let’s start playing some games, get to know the guys. I just want to start playing hockey, and so I’m really looking forward to getting there tomorrow.
“Enjoy the rest of today and then fly out to Long Island tomorrow and hopefully, I think, we’re practicing and then right out to Philly and jump right into a back-to-back. It’s gonna be crazy, again crazy couple of days, but I’m ready for it.”
The New York Islanders are two points out of a playoff spot with a favorable schedule out of the break, and Horvat will need to play a key part going forward if his new team is going to sneak into the postseason. But first, he needs to get a feel for the team, the systems, his linemates, which is to be expected.
“Getting my legs under me is going to be number one, and getting the systems down and obviously chemistry with new linemates and stuff like that,” Horvat said about his priorities. “I’m not sure who it’s going to be, but again I’m really looking forward to meeting the guys and getting the system down and getting my legs under me and just hitting the ground running.”
We found out throughout the week that Horvat is letting his agent Pat Morris talk with Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello regarding a contract extension, but did say he had a quick conversation with his new head coach Lane Lambert.
“We had a quick conversation. He called me the night of the trade and welcomed me,” Horvat said.”He’s been really good about it. He’s left me alone a little bit to enjoy the weekend, and I think he’s going to throw a lot at me tomorrow.”
Horvat shared that he has not connections to anyone on the Islanders coaching staff but reiterated that he played with Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Ryan Pulock for Team Canada at the World Championships.
He said knowing those guys will help him a lot as he gets acclimated to the locker room.
“It’s gonna help so much that I know a couple guys on the team,” Horvat said. “I think the best way to to get to know things is to ask the players, be asking a lot of questions.
“I’m sure they’re going to be sick of me here in a couple of days.”
The trade took place five days ago, but already Islanders fans in South Beach were sporting his jersey, and it meant the world to him.
“It’s really heartwarming. To see fans actually have my jersey on already, and it’s been not even, what, four or five days?” Horvat said. “It’s pretty crazy. It’s humbling, and I’m just really fortunate that I’m going to an organization, team [that has] a passionate fan base again like that.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
Bo Horvat is well aware that he has to say bye-bye to the facial hair before he gets to Long Island.
“I’m going to have to get the razor out tonight before I head on the plane tomorrow.”