Fans of the New York Islanders were rightfully insulted by the departure of their longtime captain, John Tavares in July but as time goes by and the new season begins, it is time to move on and get to business.
July was a hard month for New York Islanders fans. Just when everything seemed to be going their way with new coaching and management and an arena to truly call their own, the rug was pulled out from under them when their captain John Tavares opted to abandon them and instead sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Fans were hurt- rightfully hurt. Throughout the ordeal fans, threw out, taped over and burned Tavares jerseys and posted videos of the damage on social media to show their distaste for their ex-captain.
This caused mixed reactions from fans of the Islanders and other teams alike but there was no denying that what Tavares had done hurt his loyal fanbase and they had a right to be angry about it.
It was never about him leaving; it was about how he left.
Time Has Passed
Now, time has passed and the new season is on the horizon. Expectations are as high as ever for rookie sensation Mathew Barzal and the Islanders’ prospect pool is primed to enter and impress the NHL in the next few years.
Barry Trotz is already proving to be a coach that will change the culture of the Islanders for the better. Even with the blow of losing their captain, things aren’t all doom and gloom around camp.
And yet, fans are still hung up on John Tavares.
Isles Twitter was ablaze after the first preseason game at Nassau Coliseum over this tweet from user Craig Dixon, showing a video of several cars running over a John Tavares jersey in the parking lot. Many fans were cheering for the people who drove over the jersey, one even spitting on it has he passed. The crowd boos when one car avoids it.
This type of behavior is unhealthy and unproductive for Islanders fans. All it does is open us up for ridicule across the league and show Leafs fans and even John Tavares himself that we’re the sore losers. They’re still under our skin.
Make no mistake: Islanders still have a right to be angry. The way the Tavares left has tarnished the reputation of the New York Islanders organization and was an outright betrayal of all the trust we placed in him. Even so, it only gives us a bad name to still publicly obsess over the captain who dumped us.
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It’s time to move on, Islander fans. Look to a future of Barzal and Bellows and Dobson and Wahlstrom. Leave 91 in the past for good and prove to everyone that we don’t need him.