Now that John Tavares has left the Islanders, you may be wondering what to do with your No. 91 Islanders jersey. Bagel Boss in Hicksville has an idea.
The store tweeted an offer Monday morning encouraging fans to bring in their Tavares jerseys in exchange for a dozen bagels. David Rosner, co-owner of the Bagel Boss in Hicksville, and Donald Rosner, owner of the Bagel Boss in Murray Hill in Manhattan, hope to see some good come of the star’s decision to leave their favorite team. Any Tavares item turned in to the Bagel Boss Hicksville location will be donated to charity, but David and Donald haven’t decided the specific charity yet.
The cousins started the #BagelsFor91 Twitter campaign last week, offering Tavares a lifetime supply of bagels if he re-signed with the Islanders. The shop made up special blue, white and orange bagels for the occasion. But the No. 1 selection in the 2009 NHL Draft signed a seven-year, $77-million contract with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday. “We’re calling them Islanders bagels now,” Donald Rosner said.
Donald and David are big Islanders fans and said they wanted Tavares to stay on Long Island. Ultimately, they understood his decision.
“A lot of people understand why he left, myself included, but the way he went about it may not have been the right way to do it,” said Donald, wearing a Tavares jersey in his Bagel Boss office Monday. “The team could have made moves with a lot of big-name free agents had he said something sooner, but because he didn’t, fans just went absolutely bananas over it . . . It was heartbreaking.”
The cousins don’t want to see a scene similar to when LeBron James left Cleveland to sign with the Heat in July 2010. Feeling angry and betrayed, fans responded by burning James’ jersey.
“This was a difficult decision by him and we have to respect his decision and appreciate what he’s done for Long Island,” David said of Tavares. “And it’s straight up disrespectful to burn his apparel.”