January 25, 2014

NHL Revealed sheds light on off-ice lives of Isles

By Christian Arnold

Linemates Kyle Okposo and John Tavares were featured prominently in the premiere of NHL Revealed. (Getty Images)

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – NHL Revealed debuted Wednesday night to positive reviews, especially from Islanders fans.

The one-hour premiere episode gave a significant amount of airtime to John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. It took viewers behind the scenes during the Islanders’ 7-3 win over Dallas and inside the hospital during the birth of Okposo’s first child.

“I thought it was definitely a positive for the fans to kind of see us in a new light,” Okposo said about the show. “Anytime you got a camera crew following you around it’s not easy to relax and be completely yourself. But that being said, I thought it was a good experience and I thought they did a really good job with production of it.”

For both Tavares and Okposo, adjusting to the Camera crew following them around was a bit of a challenge.

“It’s hard to be yourself in some ways, but you try to be as normal as possible,” Tavares said. “Try and act like they’re not there, but it’s a little different. You just try to not worry about it.”

Okposo added: “You never really get used to a camera crew following you around and in your face all the time. I’m kind of a private guy to begin with, so I like to keep that part of my life private. They were great about it and if I asked them to turn the cameras off they did. It was definitely a good experience.”

As private as Okposo may be, the show was there with him and his wife, Danielle, during the birth of their first child.  The crew was there for the ride to, and inside, the hospital when the Islander forward became a father for the first time.

Having the NHL Revealed cameras follow them during such an intimate moment was something that the couple had discussed. Surprisingly it was Okposo, and not his wife, who was hesitant to agree to it. 

“My wife and I had talked about it and it kind of took us a while to make up our minds whether to do it or not,” he explained. “I’m very private. She was like ‘I’ll do it, but it’s up to you.’ So it took me a little while to warm up to the idea, but in the end having a free videographer for your first child was pretty neat.

“… I was the hesitant one for sure, but it ended up being the right decision I think.”

The NHL Revealed cameras also caught Tavares during one of his pregame rituals in front of the plaque of Mike Bossy that hangs outside the Islanders dressing room.

“Those are actually my back sticks, so my game stick I do a little something different with it,” Tavares explained. “That kind of just started my first year. Everyone puts their stick on that wall and it happened that all the sticks ended at Mike [Bossy’s] plaque. I just happened to start putting my sticks there and it just becomes a habit.”

Tavares may be the main focus of the Islanders’ segments on the show, but ask the Islander captain if he’s watched, or is planning to watch, the show he will tell you no.

“I’m not a big fan of watching myself,” he said. 

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