Maple Leafs' John Tavares: Returns to Long Island

Tavares will make his first appearance on Long Island since leaving the Islandes via free agency Thursday, Andrew Gross of Newsday reports.

Tavares faced the Islanders earlier this season in Toronto, a 4-0 loss, but this will be his first trip back to Long Island. He played for the Isles for nine season before leaving to sign a seven-year, $77 million contract with the Leafs last July. Tavares will likely set a career high in goals this season, as he is only two off of the career best (38) he had in 2014-15. The reception for JT on Thursday is likely to be less than friendly as fans still feel like Tavares left them at the altar when he bolted for his hometown Leafs even though the Islanders offered him more money. The truth is, that anger is better directed at former general manager Garth Snow, who decided not to trade Tavares at the trade deadline last season despite the team being out of playoff contention, thus assuring that the team would receive nothing in return if Tavares left in free agency, which of course, he did.

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