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New York Islanders: John Tavares Is Not The Villain

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GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders in action during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders in action during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders fans have reached peak frustration and it’s starting to have ugly consequences: they have started to vilify John Tavares.

The next few months will be agonizing for New York Islanders fans. Aside from management drama and the sting of yet another disappointing end to a promising season, the contract of their superstar is about to expire. The future of the team hangs in the balance and as July 1 gets closer, fans have started to turn against each other and on everything. This includes the captain himself.

It has become somewhat of a popular opinion on Twitter and amongst Islanders fans that John Tavares has left the team helpless. While he takes his time in choosing how to handle the coming years and where to spend them, he has left management handcuffed.

At the deadline, they weren’t able to sell their assets for picks or prospects because they didn’t know if they would be forced to rebuild or not. Still uncertain about John Tavares’ future with the Islanders, they are in the same position at the upcoming draft.

Without having any real idea of what Tavares’ intentions are on July 1, the Islanders are paralyzed. Do they try to sell because the John Tavares era is over? Do they look to acquire the missing link?

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This uncertainty has left Islanders fans at a loss and angry with their captain. After all this time, how could he have stranded us like this, dooming our coming season? If he wanted to leave all along, he could have let management know and almost give his blessing when it came to selling the team.

This theory requires that all of Tavares’ demands already have been met. It paints the scenario that the Islanders have already offered 91 a maximum contract with any bonuses or clauses he wishes and he is still refusing to commit and planning on walking away from the New York Islanders.

What fans that are angry with this John Tavares that they’ve created fail to consider is that one of his demands might involve a management change. It’s unrealistic to assume that the Islanders haven’t offered him all they can give contract wise but who’s to say that that’s all 91 values?

John Tavares is the type of player that will get his desired contract wherever he goes. He’s a known star. That cannot be all that is going into his decision and it would be foolish to think so. In reality, he isn’t handcuffing the team at all; rather, he’s simply waiting. He’s waiting to see if the most important item on his list of demands is met.

Throughout the season, Tavares has expressed nothing but love for his home and a desire for security. There was never any threat that the Islanders would try and cheat him out of his money and his priority was always familiarity. However, nothing outweighs a star’s hunger for the Cup and with the results he’s had with this team throughout his career, it’s not unlikely that in order to stay, he requires proof that things are going to change.

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It seems ridiculous that I am asking Islanders fans to give John Tavares the benefit of the doubt and yet here we are. Before jumping to blame the one man that’s kept our team afloat for nearly a decade, let’s give our captain the time he needs to decide and the trust to know that he isn’t stringing us along for no reason.

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