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Hall of Famers

Hall of Famer


Inducted in 2022

Member Details

Date of Birth: September 4, 1968
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario
Sport: Lacrosse
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1992, 1993
National Lacrosse League Champion and Most Valuable Player
1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2003, 2012
Mann Cup Championships
1992, 1993, 1996
Won the Mann Cup’s Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy as the Most Valuable Player
1994, 2000, 2001
National Lacrosse League Most Valuable Player (MVP)
2003, 2007
Gold medals with Team Canada at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships
Inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame
Hall of Famer JOHN TAVARES


One of the most prolific athletes to play lacrosse in North America, John Tavares grew up learning the sport with his hometown Mississauga Tomahawks before becoming the highest-scoring player in the history of indoor box lacrosse, a popular 6-on-6 variation of the 10-on-10 outdoor game. A star player in a sport known for fast, forceful play, John’s tremendous scoring ability rested on an almost uncanny ability to anticipate his opponent’s next move and turn it to his own advantage. Not always the biggest or fastest player, John possessed an unbeatable combination of skill, savvy, and a down-to-earth playing style that showcased his innate humility and leadership as a team player.

A living legend in the National Lacrosse League (NLL), John Tavares was a 3-time league MVP (1994, 2000 and 2001) and 19-time All-Pro selection, appearing in a record-setting 10 NLL All-Star games. He spent most of his minor lacrosse years playing for St. Christopher House in downtown Toronto. Playing his entire 24-season career with the Buffalo Bandits, John led the team to four championships and retired the all-time franchise leader in every major offensive category. The first player to score 100 points in a single NLL season, John also achieved a remarkable record-setting point streak spanning 185 games in more than a decade of play (2002-2014). After establishing entirely new benchmarks for excellence in the NLL, he retired the league’s All-Time leader in 306 games played, 815 goals, 934 assists, and 1749 points. While securing his legacy as a Buffalo sports legend, John Tavares made additional waves in Canadian lacrosse by winning a record eight Mann Cup titles, claiming the historic national men’s championship trophy while playing with the Brampton Excelsiors, Six Nations Chiefs, Victoria Shamrocks, and Peterborough Lakers. He also proudly wore the maple leaf in international competition, winning two Gold medals with Team Canada at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in 2003 and 2007.

A legendary ambassador for his chosen sport, John Tavares took lacrosse to thrilling new heights in North America, raising the standard of play and captivating crowds of dedicated fans every time he entered the fray. John’s record-smashing achievements as well as his professional longevity also reveal a truly outstanding commitment to overcoming adversity and playing the game he loved at the highest level. Low salaries in the NLL meant John had to maintain another job and was a mathematics teacher in Mississauga. Over the course of his career, he resolutely made the 90-minute drive across the border to continue playing lacrosse in Buffalo. Since retiring from the NLL in 2015, John has continued to inspire the next generation as both a teacher and a sports icon, and to mentor up-and-coming athletes as the head coach and offensive coach with the Buffalo Bandits as well as minor lacrosse teams in Mississauga