Islanders move John Tavares return game to Nassau

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

When John Tavares returns to New York, he will be playing where his Islanders career began -- the Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders announced that the Feb. 28 game against Tavares' new team, the Maple Leafs, is being moved from Barclays Center in Brooklyn to Long Island, in the arena where the team played from its beginnings in 1972 until 2015.

Tavares was the No. 1 overall draft pick by the Islanders in 2009. As a 19-year-old rookie on Oct. 3, 2009, he had a goal and assist in his Islanders and Nassau debut -- a 4-3 shootout loss to the Penguins. Tavares, a five-time All-Star, signed a seven-year, $77 million deal with his hometown Toronto team this offseason.

The Islanders have now scheduled 21 games at the Coliseum this season. The team is in transition as it attempts to build its own facility in Belmont Park that won't open until at least the 2021-22 season.

The Leafs will host the Islanders Dec. 29.