On Monday, August 17th, New York Islanders forward, CCM Hockey athlete and perennial All-Star John Tavares took over the Pure Hockey Twitter feed and spent 30 minutes interacting with fans and answering questions. Here’s the transcript:
John Tavares: Hello everyone! John Tavares here, I’m looking forward to your questions – ask away!
@SunnyS81: who was your favorite player growing up?
John Tavares: Mike Modano, Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Mario Lemieux, Mats Sundin. Modano for his speed, Yzerman his character and willing to do anything asked of him. Sakic – tremendous shot!
@hockeyvick: what do you think you would be doing if you weren’t playing hockey?
John Tavares: probably trying to be a lacrosse player! Always dreamed of both hockey and lacrosse. If not that, than maybe a teacher.
@shmalix: favorite song to listen to before hitting the ice?
John Tavares: dance or house music. favorite song changes – right now it’s Secrets by Tiesto
@swaggyb4895: What is the one part of your game you think you still need to improve on?
John Tavares: always trying to find the next level with my skating. Focus on it every summer because it’s so important in today’s game.
@4OrrEverALegend: what drills do you do to work on your shot release?
John Tavares: mostly try to work on my release while skating in stride or moving my feet.
@Islanders108: What was your most memorable moment in you hockey career ?
John Tavares: most memorable moment was probably our Game 6 win this year, last game at the Nassau Coliseum. favorite game was probably my Game 3 OT winner this year – emotion like I’ve never experienced before!
@zegrass23: Who is the toughest defensemen you’ve played against?
John Tavares: I think the toughest player for me to play against is Duncan Keith. His skating ability allows him to recover so well, when you think you have him beat, he is able to get back in the play
@PensArmy: Hardest player to play against (a forward)?
John Tavares: forward would be Toews or Backstrom. Both really great two way players, they compete so well and think the game at high level.
@DayZ489: what do you think of the new 3-on-3 OT rule?
John Tavares: I’ll know more when we get there but I think it’ll be some great hockey! Great players with a lot of space to work! can’t wait to see more games end in OT!
@maiasperling: what teams stadium is most intimidating to play in and why?
John Tavares: Hardest place to play is LA – the style team they are, they make you earn everything and they are very good at home.
@justincarp55: who would you say is your closest friend in the NHL outside of the guys on the team?
John Tavares: Matt Moulson is probably my closest non-NYI friend. It’s a little strange seeing him on the ice with another team.
@JMisercolaDBSF: Who’s a better lacrosse player, your uncle JT, or Matt Moulson?
John Tavares: my uncle by a mile!!
@Spencer___21: what is your favourite thing about CCM
John Tavares: I would say the gear and the way I am treated by the company.
@charlie_bee11: who do you find yourself rooting for in the AL East race between the Jays and the Yankees
John Tavares: definitely excited about the Blue Jays – always been a Blue Jays fan!
@kellyohara_: funniest moment from rooming with @strome18
John Tavares: not one moment in particular, but he really knows how to keep things light. Good compliment to me – more serious. We’ve become good friends.
@LilDemoo96: what’s your favorite line from CCM? And any thoughts on the new stick?
John Tavares: I really like the new Ribcor – similar dark graphic, too.
@DADvelzacha: if you’re in a slump, do you change anything to break the bad mojo? New stick or skates?
John Tavares: not a whole lot. Just try to focus on the area that I’m not finding sharp. Focus in practice or on film. I try not to change the routine too often.
@Baechuk_: any advice for a young hockey player?
John Tavares: love the game, play as many sports as you can. Helps to become a better overall athlete. Also important to have a break.
John Tavares: Thanks everyone, enjoyed answering questions! – JT
Most of us remember a time where, as a kid, we saw something and wanted it. No… Not wanted… HAD TO HAVE. Maybe it was candy, or a trading card, a video game, or hockey stick. Everyone has experienced this moment. Mine, however, was a little different.
It was 1994, I was playing for the AAA CT Yankees for the summer. The New York Rangers had just won the Stanley cup, and it was another tournament weekend in Canada. We got to the rink early for the first game of the tournament vs. Don Mills Flyers. As we walked in, my moment happened.
Outside the Pro Shop, an older gentleman had a table full of hockey cards, all encased, spread out like Thanksgiving dinner. All the guys on the team were looking through team pins, hockey cards, and trading books. I was curious about the commotion and went to have a look. Well, I wasn’t a collector of many cards, (I had a few favorites at the time) but I saw one that caught my eye. In fact, I’ll never forget it. It was the Upper Deck 1993-94 #30 Eric Lindros card. I wanted it! Not just because he was a god at this time and arguably the best player in the NHL, but also because on it I saw my next pair of gloves. That season Eric Lindros wore black and white Cooper Techniflex TF 1000 with Armourfoam. I NEEDED THESE!! They were the wicked gloves I had ever seen. When everyone was wearing gloves with huge cuffs or the Easton Air 9500 Gretzky glove, #88 stood out by wearing these. He rocked these awesome futuristic looking mittens. Even the name sounded epic: “Techniflex”
I first bought the card for $2. Then moved on to bribery, begging, and just about anything I could to get my dad to buy me those gloves. I mowed, hedged, swept, weeded, and took out more garbage than ever before.
My dad wasn’t a fool. He saw this and turned the game around on me, real quick. After a few weeks had passed, the deal was made. He said I could get the gloves under 3 conditions:
- Shoot 200 pucks daily. Out front of our house, on the concrete with real pucks (not electrical tape) into the wood shooter tutor.
- Start running, training, and dieting to improve my speed and pick up my effort on the ice.
- Stop fighting with my sister.
I made sure I got my hustle on with numbers 1 and 2. Number 3, not so much, but I did it quieter!! After that summer of hard work and effort, I finally got my wish. The Cooper Techniflex TF 1000 gloves shipped straight from Canada. I think they cost over $150 USD!!
Well, at least my dad can’t say they weren’t worth it. These were my favorite gloves ever. I still have them today and they are priceless to me. Almost 3 palms and hundreds of games later, after 4 NY state titles, and a national championship, I finally had to retire these beauties. I know they say it’s not the equipment, but, really, if you look back, all that hard work and effort for a dope pair of gloves? Yup. And I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
So as I put my Cooper Techniflexes back into “This Old Hockey Bag,” I hope you share and comment with your stories about your moment and how it changed you.
If you want to see what the Cooper Techniflexes have become in 2015, check out the Bauer Nexus Pro Custom Hockey Gloves.
I was talking to a teammate this week about the Vapor XXX Lite post from last week when he reminded me of possibly the best replacement blade ever: The Montréal Euro Curve.
His story went on that he broke the toe of the Vapor XXX Lite so he flipped it over and found an old Montréal Euro blade. When he looked at the curve, he was shocked. He immediately put the blade in and that night had six points. He bought a bundle of these replacement blades but currently was on his last one. This made me take a look back at this epic curve pattern from Montréal.