NHL All-Stars share the stage with Tampa’s pirate parade

Brent Burns, of the San Jose Sharks, holds a macaw during media day. [AP photo]
Brent Burns, of the San Jose Sharks, holds a macaw during media day. [AP photo]
Published Jan. 27, 2018|Updated Jan. 27, 2018

The NHL has embraced the pairing of its All-Star festivities with Tampa's annual Gasparilla celebration, featuring a pirate ship on everything from t-shirts to pucks sold at its Pre-Game fan festival.

And that doesn't include the macaw spotted at Saturday's media day at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

As for the players themselves, they  weren't sure what to make of the sight of thousands of people dressed as pirates hours before their Skills Competition at Amalie Arena.

"I thought they were just dressed up and trying to be like me," joked San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, known as much for his long beard as his booming slaphot.

"It's something I would have liked to be a part of to see it a little bit," Burns continued. "I hear it's kind of hard to get (to downtown Tampa) right now. It would be a pretty cool scene. It would have been nice to be down there, get a little closer to it."

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby wasn't sure what to say when a local television reporter asked how he would dress as a pirate.

"Is there only one way to dress up as a pirate?" Crosby said. "I don't know."

Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, who could pass for Johnny Depp's stunt double in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies with his long, dark hair and goatee, was all in.

"I wished I was dressed as a pirate," Karlsson said. "I love pirates. Maybe I'll figure something out for tonight."

"It's something that, for me, might happen during Halloween," Karlsson continued. "Usually my wife makes me dress up as a woman for Halloween, so I don't get to dress like a pirate then. So, hopefully this weekend I'll get a chance to maybe throw some pirate stuff on."