New York Islanders John Tavares Wants A Positive Reception From Fans

By Matt O'Leary
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 25: John Tavares
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 25: John Tavares /

After leaving the New York Islanders in heartbreaking fashion, John Tavares would like a warm welcome for Islanders fans.

I’m out of breath from laughing so hard. If John Tavares thinks the New York Islanders faithful is going to welcome him back warmly, he’s even more unaware than I originally thought.

On July 1, 2018, John Tavares left the New York Islanders by choice to join his childhood team the Toronto Maple Leafs. After years of proclaiming his love for Long Island, the fanbase, and the team he woke up, at 27, and had an epiphany.

He remembered how much he loved Toronto. Heck moments after signing while the wound was still fresh he tweeted a picture of himself out in Maple Leafs pajamas. This has never happened in New York sports.

Name me a time when someone as important as John Tavares was to his team walked out the door for nothing. I’m not talking about Tom Seaver being traded away, because at least the Mets were compensated. The Islanders got a screenshot of his notes page and a metaphorical kick in the groin from their former captain. That’s it.

Here’s what Tavares said about his return to play the Islanders:

"“I wish I was able to do a better job and lead the team to more success. It’s something I’ll always have to look back on and wish I could have done more and did a better job leading the team. But we’ll see what happens. I hope it’s positive because I know the positive impact they all made on me.”"

Buddy, it’s not going to be pretty. Tavares will be booed in warmups, he’ll be booed every time he touches the puck, and if the Islanders are so unaware they give him a tribute video he will be booed during that too.

There’s a zero percent chance of him getting a warm welcome. It’d be different if he was traded away, or if the circumstances were different but the entire saga was handled about as poorly as humanly possible.

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Tavares is a villain. He doesn’t deserve a hero’s welcome and the fact that he thinks he does just shows how clueless he was all along.