The return of John Tavares to New York and an Islanders team that drafted him, developed him, made him their captain, and followed him into battle for nine years got me thinking about some of the unfortunate negativity that follows our game around.
Maybe it was the Islanders jersey someone threw at him as he left ice after warmup. Maybe it was the plastic snakes that found their way onto the ice before warmup. Or maybe it was the fact that some fans don’t know the difference between bedsheets and pyjamas.
Make no mistake, these things affect the players involved. I know Tavares is a professional, and one of the best ever to play in the NHL by all accounts. But he’s still a human being. Watching his reaction during the Islanders’ video tribute despite the thick chorus of boos in the arena is all the evidence you need.
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