John Tavares made it pretty clear on Free Agent Frenzy that it was a childhood dream of his to play in Toronto, but we didn’t know how deep his connection to the Leafs really ran.
Tavares came through with what many predicted after he left the New York Islanders: A Players’ Tribune article. He explains how tough his decision was to leave the Islanders and apologizes to the fans in New York, but then directs a second part to his Leafs fandom. He actually starts the section with the sentence “To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should include this next part.”
He then goes on to explain not only his first memory of the Leafs, but the first memory of his life:
“The Leafs weren’t just my first hockey love. They were basically my first human memory.
I’ll never forget it: May 3rd, 1993. Leafs vs. Blues, Game 1, second OT. And of course it all comes down to Dougie vs. CuJo. Gilmour — back of the net … Andreychuk in front with Borschevsky … and there is Gilmour, waiting, waiting … around the net, waiting … HE’S OPEN!! GILMOUR — SOLO JOB … AND HE’S WON IT!!
I don’t even think I was three years old yet for that game. But I can still remember — so exactly — where we were when Doug scored: Just my dad and I, sitting together in front of the TV, all nerves, up on the edge of our seats, on our old couch, way way way past my bedtime. And then the two of us, just — god. Erupting as that puck slipped through.”
Other than that, Tavares also calls himself “Pajama boy” in reference to the photo he shared on Twitter.
It makes sense why he would want to come home, but we’re not sure this is going to make any Islanders fans feel better. He seems to understand that in the post, but also needed to get some things off his chest.
You can click here to read the whole piece, where John Tavares goes even deeper into his Leafs Fandom.