In case you were wondering how the New York Islanders are making out without the services of longtime captain John Tavares… well let’s just say general manager Lou Lamoriello isn’t losing any sleep over Tavares’ departure.
In one of the first real public statements from Lamoriello regarding Tavares’ free agent signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the GM called out the former Isles captain for not experiencing any success with the franchise.
Check out these quotes from Lamoriello during a recent interview with the New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis:
“It’s different if they had won championships. It’s different if they had had a lot of success. They haven’t done much — and I don’t say that with any disrespect. Haven’t been to the playoffs the last couple years. Things haven’t worked out the way everybody would have liked them to, from what my understanding is.”
“So, an aftermath? There’s no such thing in my mind. What the players we have here should be thinking about is not making the playoffs last year, and that’s what the goal should be. Teams win, not players. Individual players win some games, but teams win championships. And that’s what we have to create.”
In other words… “we’re good.”
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, fresh of his Stanley Cup championship with the Washington Capitals, echoed his GM’s statements saying, “I don’t think with us we mentioned John once. We move on. We’re not looking back, we’re looking forward.”
Again, suffice it to say the John Tavares era is now officially over in Long Island. With Tavares gone, longtime GM Garth Snow relieved of his hockey personnel decisions and with Trotz behind the bench, it’s undoubtedly a new era of Islanders hockey. Whether or not this new squad can surpass the previous era however, remains to be seen. Our guess? There's still a LOT of work to be done by Lamoriello and Trotz before the Islanders find themselves back on the road to respectability.
Wonder how much Isles brass is over John Tavares? How about this from Lamoriello today: “There’s no aftermath. Players come and go. It’s different if they had won championships. It’s different if they had had a lot of success. They haven’t done much.”