John Tavares spent nine years with the New York Islanders, so every time he returns to Long Island, it’s special.
And his former home fans just can’t seem to get over how he left for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018.
Tavares, the former captain of the Islanders and the current captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, entered Monday’s game just two points shy of the magical 1,000-point mark.
And the fans on Long Island definitely knew about it.
When Tavares returns to Long Island, he’s often met with loud boos, but last night was something more than that.
The crowd booed relentlessly every time he was on the ice for a shift, and it got even louder once he touched the puck.
Tavares didn’t seem too disturbed, however, as he first scored in the second period and then earned a point, making it a 3-3 game with just less than 7 seconds to go in regulation.
You just couldn’t have scripted it better; Tavares had a two-point night, reaching the 1,000-point milestone, against his former team, and as the Maple Leafs had a fathers’ trip, his dad was watching in the crowd, celebrating wildly.
As the visiting bench cleared, with players jumping onto the ice to celebrate Tavares’ 1000th point, the boos from the home crowd became even louder.
They had no thought about actually giving praise and respect to their former captain on reaching a very special milestone, as only the 98th player in NHL history.
And Paul Bissonnette was furious about it.
The TV analyst and podcast host took to Twitter to rant about his disappointment with the home crowd’s behavior towards Tavares.
“What a disgrace. Islanders fans are clowns. Booing a guy who gave his left nut to your organization. No wonder he left. Classless. Now we’re going to pump your eyes shut in OT,” he said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
However, it was a perfect night for Tavares if it weren’t for the OT loss.
“Yeah, really special. Just everything you go through, through childhood, adolescence, and obviously, living a dream playing in the NHL, [reaching 1,000] in a place that I spent nine years of my life, family and my dad coming down here to visit, being a big part of that,” Tavares said postgame.