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Sports John Tavares thanks ‘Islanders Faithful’ in Players’ Tribune

00:06  12 july  2018
00:06  12 july  2018 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Bruce Arthur: Joining Maple Leafs would be John Tavares’ boldest move

  Bruce Arthur: Joining Maple Leafs would be John Tavares’ boldest move If you were John Tavares you would have a big decision to make, a rare decision. You are in a position to truly take control of your career, and of your life. You are blessed with a rare talent, and everyone has known since you were a kid. You were different. You were escorted into major junior a year early, though in fairness, you played a little later than Bobby Orr did. You have played for Canada.You were a No. 1 pick, a notch below the truly generational kids but still, a star. Since you entered the league in 2009 you are fourth in goals scored, behind only Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, and Sidney Crosby.

When John Tavares made his decision to return home and play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, he simultaneously sent one fan base into delirious On Wednesday, in The Players ’ Tribune , Tavares made an attempt appease the latter. Referring to New York Islanders fans “the Faithful ,” Tavares

Courtesy of John Tavares . I was invested, mentally and emotionally, in considering each meeting on its own terms — and I thought long and hard about my options It’s why I wanted to write this letter in the first place: so that all of you Islanders Faithful really do know how much I cherished our time together.

a person standing in front of a crowd© AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

When John Tavares made his decision to return home and play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, he simultaneously sent one fan base into delirious joy while deeply disappointing and angering another.

On Wednesday, in The Players’ Tribune, Tavares made an attempt appease the latter.

Referring to New York Islanders fans “the Faithful,” Tavares wrote about the uncanny passion Long Islanders have for their team and the uniqueness of playing at Nassau Coliseum.

My first couple of seasons in the league, we were really piling up some losses … and if you were just paying attention to the highlights and box scores, I don’t think there was exactly a lot to get excited about. But I guess this is that cliché on how, you know, “that’s why they play the games” — because if you actually went to some of our home games back then, I swear, it was like this whole other story. The fans, man, they’d be going nuts. It didn’t matter if we were 5, 10, 15, 20 points out of the playoff race … didn’t matter if it was November, December, January, February, March, whenever. Our fans would be out there for us, cheering us on, and acting like it was Game 7 of the Cup Final.

Report: Tavares narrows decision down to 6 teams

  Report: Tavares narrows decision down to 6 teams There is a bit more clarity to the John Tavares free-agency sweepstakes. The pending unrestricted free agent has already spoken to the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks, and Boston Bruins, and on Wednesday will speak to representatives from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars. Outside of those six, Tavares' reps have no plans to speak to any other teams, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston. Related - Johnny TThe pending unrestricted free agent has already spoken to the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks, and Boston Bruins, and on Wednesday will speak to representatives from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars.

New Toronto Maple Leafs star took to The Players ' Tribune on Wednesday to thank the New York Islanders and the team's fans.

John Tavares wrote a breakup letter to Islanders fans published Wednesday on the Players Tribune . In it, Tavares explains his decision to leave New “It’s why I wanted to write this letter in the first place: so that all of you Islanders Faithful really do know how much I cherished our time together,” Tavares

And you have to understand: When that sort of thing happened at the Coliseum, it was just … different from how it would happen anywhere else. The way the fans were right on top of you — and I’m talking, like, right on top of you. The way there were hardly any corporate seats, and the entire arena was just basically one big lower bowl. When you get cheered with that level of intimacy, that level of diehard pride — it’s weird, but, I’m telling you: Something really does happen to you as a player. It’s like you’re almost held accountable, you know? I mean — who’s taking the night off, in that environment?

Additionally, Tavares made a point to thank the Islanders organization, specifically pointing out former GM Garth Snow, team public relations rep Kimber Auerbach – who pulled Tavares into a closet to protect him from being mobbed when he was drafted in 2009 – and his teammates, even adding how hopeful he is for the future of the franchise with some of their young players.

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I think the PT is a great resource for the players to give them an outlet to get a message out there I think it's sad that TPT has turned from interesting stories from/about athletes into generic thank -you Congratulations goes out to Kirk Muller for not being the least favorite player in Islanders History.

John Tavares wants Islanders fans to know he’s sorry. “I want to apologize, from the bottom of my Tavares describes an agonizing process of trying to decide whether to re-sign with the Islanders , who “So that all of you Islanders ’ Faithful really do know how much I cherished our time together

If you take away one thing from my time on Long Island, though, honestly — please let it be this: I came across some of the best teammates in the world. I’ve had so many heart-to-heart conversations with Kyle Okposo over the years that had nothing to do with hockey … and I’ve always felt like I could trust him with anything. If I have a daughter one day, I hope she marries someone like him. And then as for the other guys, seriously — if we went through everyone who made an impact on me, as an Islander, I think we’d be here all day. So I’ll just name a few more: Matt Moulson. Frans Nielsen. Cal Clutterbuck. Josh Bailey. Ryan Strome. Colin McDonald. Mark Streit. P.A. Parenteau. Just unbelievable human beings. All of their friendships are irreplaceable. (And it wasn’t just the guys I played with on the ice, either — it was the entire staff, from our coaches to our trainers to everyone behind the scenes, who made my life easier on a daily basis, and allowed me to be the best person and Islander that I could be.)

How John Tavares finally saw his childhood dream come true

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Same situation? So Tavares will play 41 more games in the NHL then retire? His fiance being a wonderful human being is mentioned several times, but his purposeful desire to string the Islanders along in an attempt to leave us with not even future considerations - how about you address that John .

Thats a sweet letter by John . Sounds like he regrets not bringing success to isles. Are these kinds of letters common for players leaving as a UFA? I'm not mad, I just think he should have made a decision last year and informed the Islanders so they weren't stuck with "maybe he re-signs or maybe

I also leave knowing that the future is bright. The new regime has done amazing things in their hockey careers, and they’ll continue to push the team forward. I know firsthand how good Barzy (a.k.a. “The Kid”) is going to be for this franchise, because he’s not only a great player, but he’s a great person as well. And I was fortunate to play with a lot of great linemates, most consistently Josh Bailey and Anders Lee. I know with those guys and the rest of the talent and character in that locker room, good things are on the horizon for this team.

For all the good will Tavares was showing to the Islanders, however, the 27-year-old’s obvious love for the team he recently signed a seven-year, $77-million contract with couldn’t be contained.

[A] lot has been made, over the last couple of weeks of this process, about my having grown up a Leafs fan — and I feel like I owe it to you all to at least explain (beyond some tweet, or sound byte, or someone else’s article or whatever) what that means to me.

And the truth is … it means a lot.

The Leafs weren’t just my first hockey love. They were basically my first human memory.

My first time in Maple Leaf Gardens, I think I was six years old — so it was probably around the winter of ‘96. And I just remember walking in … and being speechless. Like, truly speechless — you could have knocked me over with a feather. I was in total awe. You’re going through these hallways … seeing all this memorabilia from the ‘50s and ‘60s … all of these banners, and the old team portraits, and the action shots — and then of course the iconic images of those guys lifting the Cup. There’s almost this, like … glow to it, that you can’t really explain. The whole thing felt holy. It was like going to church.

Among other topics discussed in the letter, Tavares opens up about his near father-son-like relationship with Doug Weight, the agony he went through while trying to make the decision and the seriousness he took going into each team’s free agent pitch.

Matthews not concerned about captaincy, says agency rep Bobby Orr .
With John Tavares now part of the Toronto Maple Leafs, questions about the team's open captaincy appear to be building. The club has not had a captain since Dion Phaneuf was dealt to the Ottawa Senators in 2016. Many believe Auston Matthews will step into the role after getting a few seasons under his belt. However, Tavares - who served as captain of the New York Islanders for five seasons - could now be in line to assume the captaincy instead.

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