John Tavares and Josh Bailey were down in Tampa Bay for the first day of NHL All-Star Weekend. The pair made the media rounds early in the day at media day on Saturday and then took part in the skills competition later in the evening.
Tavares was making his fifth appearance at All-Star Weekend, while veteran Josh Bailey is making his first in his 10-year career. Here are some of the highlights from their first day there:
Bailey Excited To Be An All-Star
The first-timer was happy to be in Tampa for the festivities this year. Bailey has had an incredible season with the Islanders, putting up 54 points (12 goals. 41 assists) through 46 games and earned the All-Star nod for the first time in his career.
“It’s obviously an honor to be named to the All-Star team and to represent the Islanders organization, it’s something I’m proud of, for sure,” Bailey said, according to Newsday.
He’s also been happy to have teammate John Tavares along with him for the experience in Tampa.
Tavares Contract Extension Talk Rolls Into Tampa
With the hockey media assembled in Tampa Bay for the weekend, Tavares faced the gauntlet of questions about the progress of contract negotiations with the Islanders.
The Islanders’ captain reiterated what he has said all along about his desire to be with the organization. Tavares is in the final year of his contract and could hit the open market on July 1 if he does not re-sign with the Islanders.
“I haven’t really thought about anything else. Mostly I’m focused on this season, taking my time and being patient. When the time’s right, I’ll make my decision,” Tavares said, via the Sporting News.
Bailey had the whole family with him to experience his first time as an NHL All-Star, which included his wife, two kids, parents, and in-laws. “Everyone gets along really well and genuinely enjoys spending time together,” Bailey told Newsday. “So, getting an opportunity to share something like this with them just makes it all the more special.”
It was Bailey’s 17-month-old son, Wyatt, who stole some of the spotlight from dad on Saturday during the skills competition. Wyatt spent some time with Bailey down on the ice during the skills competition and created a few adorable moments.
Tavares and Bailey competed in several events on Saturday. Bailey took part in the fastest skater competition, While Tavares was in the puck control relay.