t 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,” Lamoriello recently said 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.”
But we just can't stop looking back, Lou. What the heck happened for Tavares to jump ship and not return to the team he called home for more than nine seasons? According to NHL insider Jimmy Murphy, some people are right on the money when they say Tavares was not going back to the Islanders after the team decided to let go of head coach Doug Weight and general manager Garth Snow.
It could be all Lamoriello's fault, who is known to refuse to offer long and heft contracts...
In a recent letter penned by Tavares himself in the Players' Tribune, the former Islanders captain made a point to thank the Islanders organization, specifically pointing out the former GM Snow. He also opened up about his near father-son-like relationship with Doug Weight and the agony he went through while trying to make the decision.
"And then obviously there was Doug Weight, who, you know — it’s crazy how many hats Dougie has worn during my time on Long Island. He was our Captain, my rookie year, and our Head Coach, my final year … and for me, thankfully, I can also add “landlord” to that list. Yep — Doug didn’t just take me under his wing as a young player. He and his wife, Allison, literally took me in, and gave me a place to stay. It was a family away from my family, and a home away from home."
While fans can understand the fact that Tavares is finally living his childhood dream to play for the Maple Leafs, they won't be able to shake off the fact that things could have been extremely different if Snow and Weight were still in charge in Brooklyn. The fan base was always very hard on Snow, but it will have to admit he might have been able to convince Tavares to stay in the end...