NEW YORK — After Anthony Beauvillier was traded by the Islanders last week, longtime teammate and best friend Mathew Barzal posted to his Instagram story a goodbye message to Beauvillier. The two had known one another long before the Islanders drafted them both in 2015 and their bond only grew closer during their time on the Island.
The post, shared with Barzal’s 189,000 followers, only made the emotional moments after the trade harder for Beauvillier.
“I felt like he almost made it worse where he kept texting me,” Beauvillier said inside the visitor’s locker room at Madison Square Garden. “It was definitely a tough one saying goodbye. I mean, not only him, but you know some of the guys have been with for the last seven, eight years. I got there as a teenager and I left as a man, or like a young man or whatnot.
“It was hard saying goodbye for sure.”
Beauvillier had spent his entire seven-year NHL career with the Islanders up until the trade that sent him to the Canucks and Bo Horvat to the Islanders. That means the last week for Beauvillier has been quite the whirlwind that has him starting his Canucks tenure in the place where his NHL career started.
Beauvillier made his Canucks debut in New Jersey against the Devils on Monday, was preparing to face the Rangers on Wednesday and would get to say one final goodbye to the Islanders and their fans on Thursday at UBS Arena.
“Every time I start thinking about it, I don’t really let myself do it,” Beauvillier said about the impending return to Long Island. “I’ll just try to enjoy the moment tomorrow. I mean, obviously, there’s a game tonight, but enjoy the moment tomorrow and like you said it’s the first time I’m going through this. But it’s going to be great seeing everyone one last time and turn the page.
“I feel like it’s gonna blessing in disguise that I get to turn the page that quick, so it’ll be fun.”
The Islanders will likely give Beauvillier a warm welcome when he hits the ice for the first time against them. While he had an up-and-down tenure on Long Island at times, he remained well-liked by the fans and was responsible for one of the most memorable goals in modern franchise history during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021.
Beauvillier dressed for 457 games for the Islanders, while scoring 102 goals and 209 points during that time period.
The 25-year-old forward recalled some of his fondest moments with the Islanders, including the 2020 bubble when the Isles made their first of back-to-back conference finals appearances.
“Being with the guys every day in the hotel room and away from your family, it just brings everyone together and I thought it was one of the highlights for sure,” Beauvillier said. ” You know those two playoff runs. I mean just after the runs everyone would know who you are everywhere you walked into, and I thought it was great.”
Beauvillier said he already had gotten to say goodbyes to his former teammates during the break. He said on Wednesday that he cut his vacation short to come back to start packing his things and see everyone.
From getting one last meal to bumping into players and staff at the Islanders facility, his planned quick goodbyes took longer than anticipated. “I thought it was gonna be the right thing to do and it ended up being like a three-day goodbye session,” Beauvillier joked.
Life as a Canuck has started to set in for Beauvillier, even if it’s only been a few games. He joked that it’s helped to be able to just meet the team in New Jersey and start on the East Coast.
One thing that Beauvillier noted would be a bit weird would be lining up against his old team on Thursday and his best friend, Barzal.
“It’s going to be different for sure going against these guys and I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a cool experience,” Beauvillier said.