A New York bagel store owner is showing Islanders free agent center John Tavares lox of love.
Donald Rosner, owner of Bagel Boss, which has 13 locations across Long Island and Manhattan, has tried to sweeten the pot to get his favorite hockey player to return to his favorite hockey team.
"I'm a huge Islanders fan. I want John Tavares to be an Islander," Rosner told NHL.com. "But I'm getting nervous about why he hasn't signed yet. We have [general manager] Lou Lamoriello. We have [coach] Barry Trotz. I want him to be here. So I thought, 'What can I do?'"
As the owner of a bagel store, Rosner answered his own question quickly, then put it out there on Twitter.
Now, a lot of talk goes out on Twitter, but this isn't that, says Rosner, who is posing with his 2-year-old daughter, Lena, in his profile picture. Both are clad in Islanders shirts.
"I'm kind of joking but I am not joking. If somehow (Tavares) heard about this and wanted the bagels, I would absolutely send him and his family fresh, hot bagels every morning," Rosner said. "I'd send a truck full of food to his house if he wanted."
At $1.25 per bagel and $14 for a Bagel Boss dozen (14 bagels), that is a nice incentive to stay home. Rosner said someone on Twitter jokingly called it "The Collective Bagel Agreement."
While the social media reaction has been undeniably funny -- it even inspired the hashtag #bagelsfor91 on Sunday -- this is definitely not a joke.
Rosner is starting off the bagel campaign by sending a batch to the Los Angeles office of Tavares' agent on Tuesday.
Any chance the bagels will be blue and orange in color?
"One hundred percent yes," said Rosner, who works exclusively out of the Murray Hill Bagel Boss on 36th St. and 3rd Ave. in Manhattan but lives on Long Island.
"The bagels, they are for the staff of CAA. Just as a thank you and as a message to take care of John Tavares," Rosner said. "If he leaves the Islanders, it will kill me, but I want him to be happy. And if he is happy playing somewhere else, I will still be a fan of his."
Rosner has a deep history with the Islanders. He used to own a deli on Long Island and once bartered his catering services for a ticket package. On his first delivery to Nassau Coliseum, he said Tavares held the door open for him.
"John Tavares, his game is amazing. But it's more than that," Rosner said. "He's our captain. His character, his attitude, his personality. The team needs that too."
Tavares is reportedly set to talk with five teams. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
"I think the fact that this blew up a little bit shows the love and dedication of Islanders fans," Rosner said. "If nothing comes of it, fine. But if he sees this and it makes him think twice about leaving because of how much Islanders fans love him, it can only help."
Oh, and one other thing.
"People everywhere know how good New York bagels are," Rosner said.