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John Tavares was a guest on Sportsnet 590's The Fan Tuesday and broke the hearts of Leafs Nation when asked what would be the favorite part of playing in Toronto in two years.
"I would not count on that. I think I've shown my commitment, my appreciation and my desire to play on Long Island. I would love for that to continue for the long haul. I think that you look at some of the greatest players in the game have been able to spend their entire careers somewhere. I hope I'm in that same position. Being from Toronto, people are going to make those connections and it is what it is. That's nothing I can control. I just want to go out and be the best player and person i can be for the Islanders day in and day out and I'm just going to focus on tomorrow and the upcoming season."
Lets face it, no one ever returns to Toronto. Wayne Gretzky did not, neither did Steven Stamkos. Owner Jon Ledecky made it clear during his town hall two weeks ago that Tavares will not become a free agent. Expect negotiations to go smoothly.
Host Andrew Walker, clearly devastated by the news, attempted to go the relocation route.
He mentioned how the back of Tavares' card could say Islanders from year one to twenty but could be all over New York. The captain shot him down once again.
"Yeah, there's a lot of stuff floating out there. But I've always told people, until you've played there or been there - I've been around the team, been around the organization, our fanbase - you really don't know what it's like. There's a lot of opinions that are really... far off and don't really have a good pulse of what's going on or what the organization is all about. They drafted me there, gave me a great opportunity to play this game I love and fulfill my dream. They've put a lot of high expectations in me and I don't take that lightly. I've always liked being there from Day 1, so I'd love to see it through and lift the Stanley Cup there."
I guess the Leafs can now turn their attention to Connor McDavid.