The Deke Squad – Issue No. 7: Lee’s Success, Tavares’ Gesture and GM Meetings

By Chris Triantafilis
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Feb 27, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders injured center John Tavares waves to Islanders fans as he wears the gold medal he won with the Canadian Olympic Hockey team during the first period of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2. Recently, John Tavares noticed that a kid in Winnipeg was being bullied for being an Islanders fan. So, he took action and called the team’s PR director. The 11-year-old Tavares fan got an autographed jersey and an invite to the morning skate when the Isles are in Winnipeg next season. Does this say something about Tavares’ character, or is it more indicative of hockey players in general.

EB: Both. Hockey players are a different breed. From working in the media, I can tell you that hockey players are the most humble, most softly spoke and down to earth people in the sports world. They come from small towns in New England or Canada. They understand the meaning of family. They are often away from theirs for long periods of time. That being said, I am glad this got press. John Tavares is a great guy. This shows tremendous leadership skills. I won’t put down other players, but it takes a certain kind of individual to be philanthropic and do more than they have to; especially after being injured.

CT: Yeah, I agree. I think it’s a great example of the type of person Tavares is, but also a solid reflection on the culture hockey players’ exuberate. It’s the little things that matter, which is what Tavares demonstrates on and off the ice.

Also, rarely do you hear of a hockey player that isn’t willing to give back. It seems like there are so many stories like this one. Tavares is Tavares, but he’s also a hockey player.