John Tavares received the reception that we all expected when he returned to Long Island.
Jerseys were thrown, plastic snakes were tossed, insults were yelled, and even a few jeers regarding his pajamas were made in last night's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders. Leafs fans are furious in how Tavares was treated, yet they've been no better in their history.
It was merciless. Vicious, even. And now, it’s over. John Tavares can finally move on from the New York Islanders.— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) March 1, 2019
Today’s story: https://t.co/iZkFcRapYE
Can you blame Islanders fans? JT couldn't have left on worse terms but at least he can move on for now.
It wasn't long ago when Leafs fans were booing their team off the ice and mercilessly criticizing Phil Kessel during his tenure there. There may not be a reception such as the one Tavares got from his former team, but let's not forget that we've all been there. Fans of every team jeer and boo, there's no reason to think your team's fanbase is any better.
Hell, this is the same fanbase which touted 'Toronto Stronger' in response to Bruins fans trademarking 'Boston Strong' due to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Now THAT was classless.
This isn't too far from what we've seen from fanbases across the league.
Go ahead and criticize Islanders fans, but you all lack the context and understanding of watching nearly a decade of a franchise player leave on unfavorable terms. Between the pajama photo to lying about his dedication to the team, Tavares couldn't have handled the situation worse.
No matter how you spin it, the Isles were going to be broken when he left and they have every right to jeer just as any other fanbase would.