It is a new reality in New York since former Islanders captain John Tavares agreed to a seven-year, $77-million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday. When Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello was asked to comment the signing in his first interview following the transaction, the GM wanted to stop looking back on why the Islanders lost their franchise player.
“First of all, we did everything I think we possibly could to keep John,” Islanders’ president said Thursday on SiriusXM NHL Network. “He’s been an exceptional player for the Islanders. But he now is with another team so that’s the past.”
While Lamoriello is adamant about looking forward to next season and the new challenges ahead in Brooklyn, we don't quite believe him when he says it's all in the past.
If it is indeed Lou, then why take a shot at your former team now? Once again commenting Tavares' decision to join the Maple Leafs this summer, Lamoriello expressed that his Islanders are in a better spot then the Leafs when he joined them back in 2015.
“There’s always pain when you miss the playoffs so many years in a row," Lamoriello said to The Score, referring to the old Leafs. "But I think where the Islanders are today are more progressed than where Toronto was at the given time. It's different.
“In saying that, we have to see. But no, I do not think it will end up the way the first year it ended up in Toronto. Mike (Babcock) and I went through (pain) for one full year in Toronto. I want to jumpstart that.”
“You don’t look back," Lamoriello added. "You don’t complain. You just go forward.”
The Toronto fanbase will surely find something to say about Lamoriello's comments, however, if the Islanders are stating they are moving on from the shocking decision, then great, we can focus on a great new rivalry in the Eastern Conference.
There is however still some animosity in the dressing room and amongst the Islanders fan base... Fans burning jerseys has become a common reaction in the sports world when a star player leaves for another team, and of course, it happened with Tavares as well, as soon as he announced he was leaving for the Maple Leafs.
We get it, fans are upset and have the right to show their displeasure. However, are former teammates allowed to do the same? Arthur Staple of The Athletic revealed that one Islanders player and former teammate had quite a surprising reaction to the Tavares jerseys being burnt by fans.
"In exchanging texts with a few Islanders players, the reactions ranged from surprise to disbelief. I mentioned to one player that fans were posting videos of burning Tavares jerseys. “Don’t blame them,” was his reply."
Brutal. Tavares' former teammates should listen to Lou: “You don’t look back. You don’t complain. You just go forward.”