Sport John Tavares pens 'thank you' letter to Islanders, fans in Players Tribune

00:01  12 july  2018
00:01  12 july  2018 Source:   nydailynews.com

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Thanks for contacting us. We've received your submission. Come another month, especially after the NHL draft on June 22 in Dallas, if John Tavares remains unsigned with the Islanders , the fans will be in an all-out tizzy.

John Tavares is poised to become the NHL's highest-paid player next summer. Will it be with the Islanders or somewhere else? There's no hiding when you 're center stage at Madison Square Garden. OK, maybe he could hide in the smoke generated by Islanders fans burning his jersey in

a man standing in a room© Chris Young / AP It’s not you. It’s him.

John Tavares wrote a breakup letter to Islanders fans published Wednesday on the Players Tribune. In it, Tavares explains his decision to leave New York for his hometown Maple Leafs as a free agent and details an agonizing decision that weighed so heavily on him, he thought he was having a nervous breakdown when it finally came time to make a choice.

He chose someone else.

“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 wrote. “Because I was born in Toronto — and that’s never going to change. But I grew up on Long Island — and now that won’t change, either.

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Obviously, adding a player of Tavares ’s calibre is a huge deal, and you ’d try to fit him in anyway you can. Via Jonathan Bambulie of the Tribune 6. The New York Islanders have begun their full-court press of John Tavares .

The Islanders ' departing winger pens a letter of reminiscence and thanks . He took to The Players ' Tribune to thank fans directly, and share a few personal memories about his time with the Isles (as well as signal What Stan Fischler said about how John Tavares left Islanders "Just wondering, pal."

“I want to apologize, from the bottom of my heart, for things not working out — and for the fact that, under my captaincy, we fell short of our ultimate goal. But I gave it all that I had … and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for how you gave me all that you had in return.

“Isles fans … thanks for reading, thanks for caring.

“Thanks for everything.”

a hockey player holding a bat© Julio Cortez / AP

In addition to some of the same fans who may have burned his jersey in effigy earlier this month, Tavares thanked teammates, coaches and former GM Garth Snow for helping to shape him as a hockey player and as a person during his formative years in New York.

“I know there will still be some people who feel I should have been traded — or asked for a trade at the deadline. (I respectfully disagree. I was Captain of the team, and I took that role seriously. My focus was on staying in the moment, and doing everything I could to help the Islanders win.)” Tavares wrote. “I also know there will still be some people who think I strung everyone along, throughout my free agency, just to get attention. (I didn’t … and if you know me, this one’s pretty funny.) And I for sure know there will still be some people who think I signed a wink-wink contract with the Maples Leafs, in secret, on Christmas morning of 1997. (Not true, though for the record I would have if they’d offered.)

John Tavares shares fantastic throwback photo after signing with Maple Leafs

  John Tavares shares fantastic throwback photo after signing with Maple Leafs Tavares is going home.

Marc-Andre Fleury wants to thank you one last time. The former Penguins goalie wrote a piece in The Players ' Tribune , published Monday, in which he highlights his 14 years in Pittsburgh with the organization.

Greg Wyshynski: I think John Tavares will be playing for another NHL team next season, one with a Stanley Cup in reach I want to be wrong here. I hope Tavares re-signs to play in a new building where the fans can, like, see the entire rink, unlike in the Islanders ' current environs in Brooklyn.

“And I guess what I just wanted to say is: that’s fine.

“I don’t even mind at all,” he wrote. “I really, truly do understand it. I get the passion, and I get the emotion, and I get the competitiveness and the obsessiveness and I get … all of that.”

Tavares thanked coaches Scott Gordon and Jack Capuano for helping him along the way, teammates like Kyle Okposo and Doug Weight, and offered gratitude to Snow for shielding him from pressure. “He took such great care of me,” Tavares wrote. “I’ll never forget it."

Tavares does his best to explain the logic behind leaving Long Island, and it is clear playing here left a permanent impression on him. It just wasn’t strong enough to keep him in New York.

“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,” he wrote of the fans.

“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,” he wrote. “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?

“The passion was just contagious.”

Now Tavares will feel the other side of that passion every time he comes back to play in front of those people.

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