The Toronto Maple Leafs have made the acquisition of former New York Islanders captain John Tavares and although fans in Toronto have long known that Tavares is now officially a member of their organization, they have not yet seen the National Hockey League superstar in his full Toronto Maple Leafs get up yet.
On Wednesday the very first image of Tavares in his full Maple Leafs uniform was revealed to the public by CCM Hockey, presumably as part of his promotional and marketing obligations with that brand. The image features Tavares in full blue and white including the Maple Leafs helmet, jersey, pants, socks, gloves and more.
For most people around the National Hockey League it will not be viewed as a huge deal but for fans in Toronto who have been starving for a competitive hockey team for years now it represents the culmination of a dream that many fans in Toronto did not believe could happen. Although Tavares had a clear hometown connection to the Maple Leafs and in spite of the fact that he grew up a Toronto Maple Leafs fan as a young kid from Ontario, but the Islanders had the option of offering a full year of additional security, something that resulted in Tavares leaving millions of dollars on the table.
In fact some believe that the Islanders offered Tavares upwards of $12 million per season, which means over the term of an 8 year deal he gave up $19 million by signing with the Maple Leads at just $11 million per season instead. Fans are hopeful that Tavares' as a Leaf will become a symbol of a very successful period in Toronto Maple Leafs' history and this is the very first time he has appeared as that symbol.
I would imagine that this is part of some larger promotional photo shoot between Tavares and CCM Hockey but at this time this is the only image that CCM Hockey has released to the public. I imagine that the other promotional images will be released in the coming days, probably in line with a newly Leaf' branded version of Tavares' line of equipment at CCM.
Photo Credit: Del Mecum/CSM/Zuma