New York Islanders Player Doesn’t Blame Fans For Burning Tavares Jerseys

By Matt O'Leary
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: John Tavares
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: John Tavares /

Apparently, New York Islanders fans aren’t the only ones taking the Tavares decision hard. Players seem upset with the decision as well.

It’s approaching 24 hours since we found out the John Tavares was leaving the New York Islanders for Toronto. Obviously, fans including myself have taken this very hard with some mixture of anger, disappointment, and confusion.

We aren’t the only ones. If you read Arthur Staple’s story today there was an interesting quote from an unnamed player.

Here’s what a former teammate said about fans burning John Tavares jerseys:

This really speaks volumes to me. It shows that no one was really aware of what John Tavares’ plan was all along. I also, surprisingly like this move by whoever said it.

Of course, Arthur Staple isn’t going to say who told him this nor should he. Normally I hate when locker room situations get hostile and someone turns on the team or a player, but in this case, I actually like it. It shows a sense of unity.

The Islanders core has been through a lot together, and they almost had everything break right for them this year and Johnny runs out the clock and leaves in free agency. That’s cold. The players probably take it more personally than us fans do, it’s their captain.

John really screwed this up. It’s not as much him leaving for Toronto, it’s how it was handled. He could have given the Islanders more time because now the players likely feel that the team’s handcuffed and limited in what they can do to improve.

This is a tight-knit group. Tavares packing up his toys and going home will probably motivate these guys. Sure, there’s more work to be done, like a ton of work, but you definitely can’t question the team’s motivation to prove to JT how big a mistake it was to leave.

Next: John Tavares Was Exactly Who We Thought

Like Mitch said on the podcast last night, as more info comes out it’s only going to get uglier. Hopefully, the Islanders back up the talk this go around.