John Tavares will tarnish his legacy with Islanders if he leaves
I’m tired of this John Tavares saga already and he isn’t even close to making a decision yet. If you were to put a gun to my head, I would say Tavares would stay with the New York Islanders because he’s an extremely loyal guy, loves living on Long Island (FACTS) and is entrenched in the community, so much so that it would be hard for him to leave.
However, I don’t personally know John Tavares, I don’t know exactly what he’s looking for despite all speculation, and in all reality he may just want to go home to Toronto. Regardless of where he goes, this process has been nauseating, annoying, painstakingly meticulous (just like John) and to the point where it’ll be so melodramatic even if he does stay.
As someone who has grown up watching the Islanders for years, Tavares was the hope this team needed. He was the cornerstone of the franchise. He was the man to build around. He was the captain, and the guy that every kid looks up to. If you walk around the half-empty Barclays Center (thanks for nothing Brooklyn) you’ll see mostly John Tavares jerseys. He is the great blue and orange hope and he and Thomas Greiss led the Islanders to their first playoff victory in 23 years. It was only a few years ago but between the “Fire Garth” campaign and the slew of underwhelming seasons, it feels like ages ago.
Garth Snow and Co. severely mismanaged this entire situation, as did John Tavares. Piggybacking off of The Athletic’s Arthur Staple’s article from April on the failures of the Islanders season, both Tavares and Snow agreed not to talk any contract extensions during the season, nor talk about potential trades if the captain wasn’t sure he was re-signing with the team. Snow mismanaged it because, if Tavares leaves for nothing, he and co-owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are all at fault for taking such a passive approach. Tavares mismanaged this situation because this long, drawn out process of courting him is making him look bad. He could have at many times during the season given some kind of indication whether or not he wanted to stay. The Islanders are essentially going into this process blind.
I’ll get more into it in my blog after Tavares makes a decision, but the Islanders have done everything in their power from about a month ago to woo JT, including bringing aboard Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz.
If Tavares leaves the Islanders, he will forever tarnish his reputation here. The Islanders literally BENT OVER BACKWARDS for him and revamped their entire management team and coaching staff. Tavares stated almost every time he was asked that he explicitly wanted to stay on Long Island and hoped things worked out.
What more do you need John?
I understand those other destinations may be attractive, but it’s not the same circus here that it was just a few months ago.
People can say whatever they want about how he deserves to take his time on this decision and how the Islanders wasted so many years of his career and yada-yada, but he didn’t help himself out from a reputation standpoint if he abandons the Islanders now.
I would have a completely different opinion on this if Doug Weight was still head coach and Garth Snow was still GM. I wouldn’t blame him for leaving because it was more of the status quo. Now I will, because the resources are here to build a great team for years to come.
Islander fans should feel hurt, abandoned, distraught, and flat out insulted if Tavares leaves now. Make the right choice John, you don’t want to be booed forever on Long Island.