John Tavares
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Donald Rosner of Bagel Boss has confirmed he will keep his promise of “free bagels for life” for New York Islanders’ John Tavares, in an interview with ESNY.

July 1, 2017, began a one-year window in which the New York Islanders were forced to sign their captain and franchise player, John Tavares. (Forced in the sense it must happen or the entire living, breathing world of the island would suddenly be in doubt.)

We’re now down to the final week of that window and on Monday, Tavares will hear pitches from five other clubs.

According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Islanders have made their first official offer, an eight-year deal worth $88 million ($11 million AAV). Take it, consume it in any fashion you’d like. Rumors around this time of year run wild. What we do know, however, is the sheer will to keep the captain on the Island is apparent.


In the home stretch of the Tavares sweepstakes, Donald Rosner of Bagel Boss in Murray Hill, NYC, has made an offer of his own: A lifetime supply of personally delivered New York bagels.

The tweet has since gone viral with over 450 retweets, 1,500 likes and nearly 500 replies. Even the hashtag #BagelsFor91 is going around as Islanders Twitter has embraced the offer. And unlike some other claims we seen on social media in the past, Rosner says that if Tavares re-signs, he will “100 percent” follow through.

“When I said it I meant it,” Rosner told me. “Not thinking that he would ever do it but if he was like ‘yes, ok, I want that’, I would personally, every day, bring food to his house. No joke. He’s my favorite hockey player.”

New York Islanders

Prior to the tweet, Rosner estimated that he had somewhere around 60 followers. Now he has over 250 and counting.

“I’m more about reading, like keeping up with current hockey stuff, especially with the draft and all that. There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on with the Islanders right now so I’m always on Twitter like crazy, reading and I did it kind of like a joke but I meant it.”

Rosner has been a hockey fan for life and it runs in the family. And ever since Tavares was drafted first overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Rosner fell in love with not only the type of player he is but his character.

“(Tavares is) such a calm, relaxed guy who takes the team on his shoulder and does everything he can to help the team win and just to lose a guy like that would be awful.”

To some, Rosner may be some random guy on Twitter (and he knows this), but he also knows that he could potentially be a difference maker in keeping Tavares on Long Island.

“And I’m nobody, but if there’s one thing I can do, I can bring bagels to his house everyday and if that’s what it takes to get him to re-sign, so be it.”

A few hours after the tweet went viral, Rosner upped the ante.

“I was thinking, where am I going with this us? And it just dawned on me. People probably think I’m nuts to begin with about all this but let me take the next step.” Rosner said in regards to his next move.

“And so the next step is tomorrow morning, my cousin in Hewlett at Bagel Boss, Alex, he’s going to – we do that, we ship bagels all over the places so I called him up and asked him if he was going to be able to do it and he said ‘yea’ so I went online and got all the information about where Pat Brisson’s (Tavares’ agent) office is and we’re gonna send a package out to Pat Brisson’s office and their staff (located in Los Angeles, California).

“It’s not going to be only for John Tavares because it probably wouldn’t get to him but it’s gonna be a box full of fresh New York bagels and all kinds of stuff and there’s gonna be a note inside that says something along the lines of ‘To Pat Brisson and staff: Please take care of our boy’ and, hopefully, he re-signs with us and regardless. Whether he does or doesn’t, we have to try.”

As previously mentioned, there are over 500 replies to the original tweet and among them are people in Toronto who are willing to match Rosner’s offer if Tavares signs with his hometown team, the Maple Leafs.

“Yea but New York bagels, there is no comparison and in my opinion, my family makes the best bagels in the world,” says Rosner in response to those replies. “We’re six generation bagel makers, we use an old-school recipe, we do everything the old-school way. Everyone else, they changed it as they went along. The recipes changed and people tried to be cheaper and do things faster. We don’t do it that way, we do it the old-school way. It costs a lot of money to do it the way we do it. We don’t care, it’s the product that matters.”

Perhaps the biggest question of them all for the man behind this viral campaign: Come July 1, will Tavares still be a New York Islander?

“It’s hard for me to be objective because all I want is for him to stay,” Rosner said. “From everything I’ve seen and heard him say, he wants to be here and he wants to win the Cup with this team. Throughout this whole year when people were mobbing him day after day and for all the games ‘Are you gonna stay? Are you gonna stay?” All he ever said was ‘I want to stay’.

“I think that (president of hockey operations and general manager) Lou Lamoriello and (head coach) Barry Trotz, those are big name guys and I think he’s going to see that the Islanders have just as good a shot as anybody else with these guys managing the team and so I’m gonna say ‘yea, I think he’s gonna stay’ but I’m probably really not that objective because I want him to stay.

While of course losing Tavares would be a huge loss, Rosner is still optimistic about the team’s future and direction with or without their captain.

“If Tavares leaves I don’t think the team’s gonna fall apart. We have the rookie of the year (Mathew Barzal) on the team and he’s only gonna grow and I think that Lou Lamoriello will quickly find somebody to replace him. I think we will be much better off with him but if he left, I think that we would have to make a few decisions and bring in somebody else but I think this team in the best direction it’s ever been headed in since the four Cups in a row.”

In addition, Bagel Boss Hewlett, Bagel Boss Hicksville and perhaps some of their other 13 locations will be producing and selling blue and orange tie-dye bagels tomorrow in support of the campaign.

New York Islanders

Please SUBSCRIBE to ESNY's Daily Newsletter, ESNY City Stream. Every piece of content included yet CUSTOMIZED to your New York Sports-team allegiance:

ESNY City Stream

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU


ESNY Mobile ESNY Careers