Oct 23, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) during warmups prior to a game against the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Editors note: This was a collaborative effort from all of us at Eyes On Isles. Big thanks to Kenny, Noah, Sean, Chris and Andrew for the ideas, and a huge thank you to Sam and Dave Boychuk for their time.
When New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow pulled off a trade for defenseman Johnny Boychuk from the Boston Bruins just days before the season started, Islander fans knew the team had acquired a top talent. What Islanders fans didn’t know was that as Johnny immediately endeared himself to his new teammates, so too did his brothers Sam and David to the Isles fan base.
Instantly embracing the Islanders and their fans, Sam and Dave have become a big part of “isles twitter” and are tremendously engaging with fans. If you follow them on Twitter they’ve both announced that they are visiting the New York/Metro area this season (Dave has an EPIC sports trip planned. Follow his twitter to check it out. It’s basically a guys dream trip), so we thought it’d be a good idea to interview them. We reached out to The Brothers Boychuk and they were kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
Eyes On Isles: How have you been received by Isles fans via Twitter?
Sam Boychuk: It has been incredible. I personally respond to almost everyone on a day to day basis which at times drives my wife a little crazy lol.I know from talking to people via twitter I can’t believe how welcomed you feel so I can just imagine how fantastic it must be for Johnny on the island.
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Dave Boychuk: The Isles fans have been great. You can really get a sense of excitement with the new changes and the great start. From the tweets, the pre-game pics, to watching the games and hearing/seeing the fans on social media, I have felt that the Isles fans are extremely welcoming. The banter and convos have been fun to say the least, and always welcomed. Although, I am finding nowadays, that I am charging the phone more often lol.
Oct 23, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) skates in the neutral zone during the second period against the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
EOI: How much did you guys and Johnny both know about the Islanders team/ownership/building situation prior to the trade?
SB: I actually remember as a young guy watching the Islanders back when they were winning that run of Stanley cups with that perfect blend of talent, grit, and timely goaltending. Growing up in Edmonton we saw first hand how good they were because they had the Oilers number for quite a long stretch. In regards to ownership as well as the new building I actually followed it all as things came to fruition well before Johnny became a member of the Islanders. I think it is a special time for this club and the fans. They are a young team and they are building a winner that will be around for a long time.
DB: Being a hockey-minded person, the top players are recognized throughout the league. A pleasant surprise was being able to watch the supporting guys on the team and realize how skilled and quick they are. With the changes over the summer, the immediate impact of the new players combined with the existing core group, this team is becoming one of the powerhouses to be contended with. We knew that the “barn” was older that had a ton of history with a supportive fan base. The older arenas carry with them a history and character that you could never replicate in the newer modern rinks. I am sure the players and fans are looking forward to upgrading into their new home for next year, but I hope they will be able to take a part of Nassau and somehow integrate it into the new arena.