Leafs' John Tavares has 'absolutely no regrets' over leaving Islanders

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John Tavares left the Islanders to sign a seven-year, $77 million contract with the Maple Leafs this offseason.

John Tavares booed mercilessly by Islanders fans in return to Nassau Coliseum

John Tavares left the Islanders to sign a seven-year, $77 million contract with the Maple Leafs this offseason.

John Tavares is content with his choice to leave New York for Toronto.

The Maple Leafs center is nearing his return to Nassau Coliseum to face his former team Feb. 28 but isn't having second thoughts about his decision to leave the Islanders last year.

“I have absolutely no regrets,” Tavares said, via Newsday. “I’m in a great spot here. It’s been a tremendous opportunity, and we’re just beginning.”

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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 was quickly picked up by the Maple Leafs after hitting the open market, a move that was "a childhood dream" of his.

The Islanders topped Tavares, 4-0, at Toronto in their first meeting Dec. 29.

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“Obviously, it’ll be nice to see a lot of familiar faces and be back in a place that … still does mean a lot to me in my career,” Tavares said. “As best I can, I’ll try to treat it like any other game. Obviously, it probably won’t be like that … Whatever the reception is, I’ll just focus on playing and trying to play well.”

Tavares, 28, was selected by the Islanders with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The five-time All-Star has 33 goals and 27 assists in 55 games this season.

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