Thursday night, John Tavares makes his highly anticipated return to Long Island since signing with the Maple Leafs in the summer.
Tavares spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Islanders, but the captain became an unrestricted free agent after failing to agree to an eight-year extension with the Islanders. He then signed with the Maple Leafs, which he said was a “a childhood dream” of his.
He received much backlash from Islanders fans after the decision, but time has passed and the Islanders are currently sitting first in the Metro… So all is well, right? Well, apparently not.
News 12 Long Island did a story called “Dear John” where Islanders fans record a message to the 28-year-old prior to his return.
John Tavares brokes #Isles fans hearts when he left for Toronto in July. Thursday he’ll face those fans on LI for the first time. It won’t be a warm reception. Watch #DearJohn today on @News12. @eyesonislesFS @Offside_Tavern @Section_329 @IslesGirl3 @islesfanrico @gothambatman14 pic.twitter.com/8mzvxzaDw9
— Kevin Maher (@KMaherNews12) February 26, 2019
One fan said, “You were seen as the face of the franchise, the saviour, you were the chosen one.”
“We thought you were a class act… Looks like it was all just an act.” Another added.
Towards the end of the video it shows two fans calling him a “liar, traitor and a snake” it then goes to them calling him “pajama boy” in unison, in reference to his famous tweet of him sleeping on Maple Leafs bed sheets as a kid.
Not everyday you can live a childhood dream pic.twitter.com/YUTKdfMALl
— John Tavares (@91Tavares) July 1, 2018
The full messages recorded by the fans can be found at News 12’s website.
Many Leafs and even Islanders fans have reacted to the video saying it’s a bit dramatic.
This is BRUTAL! They don’t speak for me. I’ve moved on, I suggest many others do the same. It’s pretty easy to do. pic.twitter.com/8GFE57h276
— Brandon Lubrano (@B_Lubrano9) February 26, 2019
Get over it. We're in first place! He's an adult who had the chance to sign with the team he loved growing up. Any one of us would have done the same thing.
— Dennis (@DennisJordan77) February 26, 2019
Tavares said no matter what the reception he gets on Thursday night, he’s just going “to focus on playing.”
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