Is New York Islanders captain John Tavares truly boring? Is he so media trained that he’s dead on the outside? And should the rest of the hockey world knock him for it?
Sportsnet writer Sean McIndoe (Down Goes Brown) wrote a piece that asked why hockey fans should and shouldn’t hate twelve particular players in the NHL. And our very own John Tavares made the list.
It’s surprising to think of anyone having nothing but loving thoughts of Tavares. There’s bias there, but really. What is there to hate when it comes to John Tavares? Clutch goals? Amazing puck handling skills?
Turns out it’s because Tavares is boring, or so McIndoe believes: “Is John Tavares boring? I feel like he might be kind of boring. Maybe not Sean Monahan boring, but he’s in the ballpark.”
When the word ‘hate’ gets tossed around you’d think there’d be a bit more conviction behind the criticism than “might be kind of boring”. That some John Kerry wishy-washy level talk.
But then again, that’s right up McIndoe’s M.O. His historical hockey knowledge is top-notch and his humor is on par, but when he steps out of the realm of “Five Almost Hockey Trade of the Past 20-Years” it gets a little diluted.
Tavares Just Like Crosby, I beg Your Pardon?
So is John Tavares boring? Let’s assume McIndoe is right. Tavares is boring. Like he states, it’s not really a bad thing. All players go through media training provided by both the league and the team.
Tavares is trained to tote the “company” line and not stray too far off. Which controls messaging and ensures that whatever gets out to the media is either accurate or framed in the “right” way (according to the team and league that is).
But remember, just a few months ago Tavares eviscerated his teammates through the media after losing 5-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tavares was quoted saying: “We went out there and got embarrassed because we didn’t play hard enough….This time of year, that is unacceptable. Everyone has to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves how much they want it
That’s some incindiary stuff! I’d like to see Crosby or Towes come out and say something close to that. And that’s why McIndoe is off kelter a bit here, he’s not bemoaning Tavares’ lack of livelyness. It’s his quotability that McIndoe is looking for.
Tavares is a captain to a storied franchise in a big market. His comments need to be weighed, measured, carefully executed. That’s the reponsibility of a captain, of a leader. But when the time is right, he’s shown he can come out with some very quotable lines. He might not have the best sound bites, but I’ll take 70 points instead of a quotable line.