“Today feels like we are celebrating the rebirth of the New York Islanders Franchise,” exclaimed Islanders broadcaster Howie Rose. And the press conference to welcome John Tavares
Cheers rang out from the more than 500 fans in attendance at Nassau Coliseum Wednesday afternoon, as the Islanders formally welcomed their No. 1 overall draft pick. With the scoreboard lowered to the floor, fans dressed in No. 91 Tavares t-shirts and jerseys, gave Tavares a standing ovation. There were even a few fans who were wearing t-shirts that had Tavares’ likeness emblazed on the front.
Sitting in the front row was Islanders owner Charles Wang, the Tavares family, Islanders assistant coach Dean Chynoweth and Islanders center Josh Bailey
. Islanders General Manager Garth Snow and Head Coach Scott Gordon flanked Tavares on stage.
After some opening remarks, Rose gave way to Snow, who received loud applause from the fans.
“It’s and exciting time to be an Islander and exciting time to be an Islanders fan,” Snow said.
Then, following a short video displaying Tavares highlights and interviews, the man of the hour—and the offseason—was introduced to the fans.
“This has been a tremendous dream for me,” Tavares said. “I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the New York Islanders. It’s a dream come true. I want to thank all the fans here and at home for supporting me and welcoming me to Long Island.”
Tavares referred to the Stanley Cup banners hanging from the Coliseum rafters.
“I want to thank Garth and Charles for believing in me to help bring the tradition back to Long Island,” Tavares said. “I’m excited to get this process started with the rest of the players and to take it one day at a time.”CLICK HERE to watch video from the event.