John Tavares: The best since the great one

Anyone remember what I said about Cindy and AO Before they got into the NHL? Wasn’t a huge fan of either of them. AO I’m a fan of now. Still hate Cindy. He’s better than I expected, still don’t like him. In fact, I’m always skeptical of NHL prospects. But John Tavares is different
Does anyone remember when Scotty Bowman told Steve Yzerman he wasn’t good enough defensively, and he responded by winning the Selke trophy? God, I love Yzerman. This is pretty similar. Tavares has been criticized for all sorts of things, and he’s just used it to get bigger, stronger, more responsible defensively…he takes his criticism very seriously, and handles it very well.

See, the thing about Cindy Crosby at his World Junior championships is that he played second fiddle to Jeff Carter and Patrice Bergeron. If you’ve seen John Tavares this year, you know, it’s his tournament, and it’s his time.

Did anyone else see him effectively make Viktor Hedman, now the number 2 overall pick, his ***** in their game (Canada vs Sweden, December 19th). He physically dominated him, and Hedman was supposed to be drafted because of his strength and physicality. Yeah, right.

But, there are so many contrarians, people constantly try to take shots at John Tavares. He’s lazy, he’s not a leader, wah, wah. I hate the “lazy” tag. Angelo Esposito got cut from three World Junior teams he deserved to play for because someone called him lazy. You can’t prove or disprove laziness. It’s asinine.

Ask anyone on Canada about Alexei Cherepanov when he got drafted, and they’d tell you he was lazy. It disgusted me draft night when former Blue Jackets GM Doug McLean ripped Cherepanov calling him “lazy” all night, most likely due to his own struggles with his own Russian, Nikolai Zherdev. It was the biggest night of Cherepanov’s life and he decided to take shots at him. Since then, we’ve heard nothing but good things from the people who knew him. He was going to be an NHL player, and he’d do whatever it took to get there. It’s tragic that he didn’t, and I’ll never feel any differently than I do now: the world lost the next great NHL superstar when we lost Alexei Cherepanov, his parents lost a good son, and he lost a good future. It’s tragic. Doug McLean has yet to comment on Cherepanov’s passing.

It’s really what any Canadian uses to justify preferring a Canadian to a European. They call him lazy. I’m as anti-European as they come, and I’ll tell you that’s asinine. People throw around certain words like “clutch”, “hard working”, “lazy”, and “choker” when they want to justify the unjustifiable in sports, because you can’t prove or disprove any of it. it’s the most ridiculous asinine thing ever.

Now, watch John Tavares play, and tell me he won’t be great. My friend Scott and I decided we’d sell our souls to the devil to get John Tavares in the blue and white. I kinda have the idea it’s destined to happen. The Leafs are tanking the same year he’s going first. If we come in last and still lose the draft lottery I’ll just have to pray as much as I can that the number one team is dumb enough to take Hedman. Not that Hedman’s a bad player… he’s just no Tavares.

And can you imagine if the Lightning win the lottery again? Stamkos and Tavares together will be like having Sakic AND Yzerman. They’ll be the best combo since Jagr and Lemieux, and they still have Vinny and Marty in town.

And as for his chances of becoming a Toronto Maple Leaf? One can dream.