Friday, 29 June 2018

You're Better Than This

"Hey everybody. I'd like to thank you for gathering here. I heard a number of great offers over the last few days. I want to thank each of the teams I've met with and heard offers from, and there were a number of great offers on the table. In the end, however, I needed to make the best decision for me when it comes to my future. My summers were simply getting too long with the Islanders, so I made my decision. I will be taking my summer talents to Toronto to play with the Blue Jays."

Ok, that's not happening, but how awesome would it be if John Tavares simply came out of all his recent meetings and just made an off-the-wall announcement like that?

Look, I get that this is a pivotal moment in Tavares' career, but do we really need hockey's version of "The Decision" being played out? He's a phenomenal player, but I'm pretty sure that one player alone doesn't win a Stanley Cup. There have been many players who have been in a situation similar to this, so why is this one so different?

Wayne Gretzky made a decision to join the New York Rangers via free agency, and the Rangers never won a Stanley Cup. The Rangers did play in the Eastern Conference Final in 1997 during Gretzky's first year there, but were brished aside by Eric Lindros and the Philadelphia Flyers. The following three seasons in New York prior to his retirement, Gretzky and the Rangers missed the playoffs. It was one of the biggest signings in the NHL, but Gretzky's talents couldn't get the Rangers back to the promised land.

No one is comparing Tavares to Gretzky here, but if Toronto, San Jose, Boston, or anyone else who met with Tavares thinks that he's that "missing piece" that will put their teams over the top, there's a lot that has to go right for that to happen.

What really chaps my ass over this whole process is the media coverage that it is receiving. Tavares' decision will affect these teams, but I don't need hourly and daily updates on what he's inevitably going to do on July 1. Here's a quick hint: he will sign a deal on July 1 like dozens of other players. Speculate all you want, but plunking reporters outside his agent's office where these pitches are happening is beyond idiotic, especially when no GM or team representative will tip his or her hat at all, let alone appear on camera for an interview about the pitch.

In two days, we'll know John Tavares' decision. Let it go until Sunday.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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