John Tavares is a Maple Leaf.
There, I said it.
And instead of hiding from that, I am going to talk about it.
For many New York sports fans born in the last 15 years, John Tavares and David Wright defined their childhood. However, this year, many fans felt that their childhoods came to end after David Wright played the last game of his career against the Miami Marlins.
Within about three months, New York lost John Tavares to free agency and David Wright to retirement. For many, watching Wright’s last game made them ponder the question, is this what John Tavares could have had?
Simple answer: yep.
The reaction to Wright’s last game was fueled by his constant struggle with injuries and his battle to return to the Mets. Wright, who was drafted out of high school in the year 2001, made his debut in 2004 and played 1585 games with the Mets, and was beloved for his loyalty to the team.
John Tavares played nine seasons with the Islanders, and many fans loved the fact that Tavares said the correct things. Numerous times Islander fans were thrilled with hearing Tavares say that he would sign a contract to remain with the team.
Yet, on July 1st, Tavares walked on signed with the Maple Leafs.
If Tavares had stayed with the Islanders, he too would have had a celebration during his last game. Assuming that he put up the same numbers he did early in his career, Tavares would be one of the top Islanders in the record books. While he possibly may not have lifted the Stanley Cup, he would have been celebrated by the Islanders faithful.
Now, the reaction that Tavares will receive by the Islanders’ faithful is one of jeers and resentment.
Many Islander fans have edited the former captain’s jersey to read snake, traitor, and douche bag.
Thus, it is apparent, that when Tavares returns to Brooklyn on February 28th, he will have the complete opposite ovation as David Wright.