Donald Rosner, owner of Bagel Boss, which has 13 locations across Long Island and Manhattan — including one in Hewlett — is showing Islanders free agent center John Tavares lox of love.
“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.
@donaldrosner @91Tavares John, i own a bagel store. The best bagels in New York. If you stay with us I will personally deliver bagels to you and your wife fresh every morning for the rest of your or my life. We love you John. Please, stay here where u were born and get us a cup. 11:34 AM - Jun 24, 2018
Now, a lot of talk goes out on Twitter, but this isn’t just talk, said Rosner, who is posing with his 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.
@JDink79 24 Jun Replying to @donaldrosner @91Tavares What if the Leafs offer lox? @donaldrosner We got the best lox here hands down. Bagel Boss is known for amazing sliced nova. If he wants it he got that too. I'm serious here folks. This is not an empty offer. To get him to stay it's a no brainer for me 12:50 PM - Jun 24, 2018
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.