Remembering John Tavares' homecoming on 1000-game milestone

John Tavares' impact in the NHL is unquestionable as Maple Leafs captain marks 1000 games in the league but for Toronto fans, despite the lack of playoff success, Tavares' 2018 decision to come home in free agency lives long in the memory. Tavares, was selected by the New York Islanders with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, ranks fifth among all players in total points since the 2009-10 season.

Video Transcript

- John Tavares, Johnny Toronto, captain, my captain Tavares-- I mean, to hit a milestone like 1,000 games played in the NHL, that's one thing. But the fact that like a decent chunk of them now has been part of the Leafs as a member of the organization, as captain of the team, I think just, again, solidifies how awesome he is and how awesome it is that he's on this team, and overall, even though there are a lot of people who are saying, oh, he's washed. But I think he's completely silenced that.

But think back to when he first signed. Again, the idea of a big free agent coming home and signing with the Leafs, that's something we talked about like every single-- Stamkos, oh, Stamkos is going to come back. He met with Canadian Tire. It'll be a huge thing. But it usually doesn't happen.

The only time it did happen, or at least one of the main times it happened, was David Clarkson, and we know how that went. But when the opportunity came up, and when it actually happened, that tweet, Tavares to Toronto, seven-year deal. It was just a cascade of emotion, and passion, happiness, sadness in a way. You're seeing what was going on here, seeing that we have took Captain John Tavares and added him to this growing core.

Now, yes, overall, the team hasn't accomplished much with him being here, but he has had an amazing impact. I mean, 47 goals, 47-goal seasons, again, being the number two center, playing on the power play, getting key minutes, being influential in those big moments, scoring hat tricks, late tying goals. There have been so many things that Tavares has done. And again, I'm looking so forward to see how that's going to continue moving on.

And I know a lot of people are looking-- maybe looking for it as far as the cap goes, what's going to happen to Tavares after that deal is done. I mean, I think there's been a lot of examples. I would not be surprised if Tavares tries to stick around for a lower cap hit deal. But hopefully, the Leafs can win a run round or two before that happens.