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Afternoon Line- John Tavares

I know there will still be some people who feel I should have been traded — or asked for a trade at the deadline. (I respectfully disagree. I was Captain of the team, and I took that role seriously. My focus was on staying in the moment, and doing everything I could to help the Islanders win.) I also know there will still be some people who think I strung everyone along, throughout my free agency, just to get attention. (I didn’t … and if you know me, this one’s pretty funny.) And I for sure know there will still be some people who think I signed a wink-wink contract with the Maples Leafs, in secret, on Christmas morning of 1997. (Not true, though for the record I would have if they’d offered.)

And I guess what I just wanted to say is: that’s fine.

I don’t even mind at all. I really, truly do understand it. I get the passion, and I get the emotion, and I get the competitiveness and the obsessiveness and I get … all of that. It’s like I said, you know: I’ve been a fan since before I was three years old. I’ve been there.

But it’s also important to me that I don’t sell anyone short, here. It’s why I wanted to write this letter in the first place: so that all of you Islanders Faithful really do know how much I cherished our time together. Because I was born in Toronto — and that’s never going to change. But I grew up on Long Island — and now that won’t change, either.

-John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs at The Players' Tribune.  Read much more from Tavares.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares


ilovehomers's avatar

Just this little bit gave me a chill. And there are THOSE fans that really did call him a “traitor.”

Can’t wait to dive in more.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/11/18 at 03:13 PM ET


JT needs to shut up.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/11/18 at 03:57 PM ET

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

As an Islanders season ticket holder - I am deeply upset JT left.  He had every right to - and I don’t blame him.  Just that he really could have handled last year a lot better.  Garth Snow is the one to blame.  He should have dealt JT.  But - time to move on.  If I had the choice of keeping JT but having Snow as GM or losing JT and losing Garth - I would lose JT. 

I think the 20 MM in cap space with most of the roster signed - opens up all types of opportunity going forward.  With a real coach - this team can be very competitive. 

I wish John well - especially when he plays games in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington and of course - West 33rd Street.

I am sure Lou wants to sign more 4th liners smile    Not sure what that is all about with all the guys he has signed - but - I don’t think he is done yet with the roster - so I will refrain.

I wish John had stayed.  The Islanders are HIS team.  Now it will be Mat Barzal’s team.

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 07/11/18 at 08:46 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I wish John had stayed.  The Islanders are HIS team.  Now it will be Mat Barzal’s team.

I know how you feel. As a fan you kind of grew with John, and now he is gone. Even though it’s a business the fans are left with an empty feeling. Could be a blessing in disguise for N.Y. Islander fans. Only time will tell. sick

Posted by bigfrog on 07/11/18 at 10:42 PM ET


Yeah little bit of a cop out with the whole bit about the captaincy and wanting to be focused on the isles when in reality later in the article it sounds like he was a die hard Leaf since 3 and was going to go back regardless.

No dog in the fight, just an outsider’s takem

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/11/18 at 10:45 PM ET


BF, I think it could end up a Rick Nash situation.  He was a good player, everyone loved him.. just was never going to work with him here. Maybe too much work defaulted to him to win games or whatever.. but sometimes it’s just not a good fit even when it seems like it is on paper.

I’m interested to see how Toronto does if the team falters at all.  Lots of pressure.

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/11/18 at 10:49 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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