After all the talk about how New York Islanders fans feel jilted about John Tavares’ departure for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Lou Lamoriello made sure we could forget about it with some choice words.
John Tavares and his Pat Brisson sat with the Athletic (subscription required) earlier this week to recount the drama that went on behind the scene’s as he made his decision to leave the New York Islanders for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
If the wounds had at all healed since Tavares left us high and dry, that Q&A certainly reopened them. Comments like Brisson indicating Tavares’ heart was in Toronto, and Tavares knowing he didn’t want to be in New York were tough to read.
I can only speak for myself, but the raw emotions were well and truly back after that article. And I think team President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello felt that. So when he was asked about Tavares he had the perfect answer.
They Haven’t Done Much
Speaking to reporters at a New York Islanders golf outing, Lou had the following to say about the departure of John Tavares:
"“It’s different if they had won championships. It’s different if they had had a lot of success. They haven’t done much — and I don’t say that with any disrespect. Haven’t been to the playoffs the last couple years. Things haven’t worked out the way everybody would have liked them to, from what my understanding is.”"
Are you clapping your hands? I sure was after reading that. It’s exactly what we, at least I, needed to hear after the continued gut punch that is hearing John Tavares gush about his new team.
Losing a point-per-game player hurts. In building a winning team you want to collect as many talented individuals as you can. And John Tavares is undoubtedly one of the most talented ones out there.
But to Lou’s credit, we aren’t to hang our hat on a single player. Teams win championships. Not individuals. And if Tavares doesn’t want to be part of this team, Lou will certainly find some who will.
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It might be a rough introductory year under Lou Lamoriello. Having Tavares could have helped. But to be fair it’s not like Tavares is the key to making the playoffs. If he was the New York Islanders wouldn’t have missed the playoffs in six of Tavares’ nine seasons with the Isles.