Toronto Maple Leafs fans have never loved Sean Avery more than at this very moment.
A day after John Tavares was ripped to shreds by New York Islanders fans in his return to Long Island, Avery had some strong opinions on the subject.
Islanders fans came prepared to make things uncomfortable for Tavares in his first game back, arriving with signs, props, and creative chants. They booed him mercilessly all night, including during his tribute video, and threw snakes and a jersey at him during warmup.
Avery, who is no stranger to being enemy No. 1 on Long Island, wasn’t impressed.
The controversial ex-player, who appeared in 580 NHL regular season games for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, and Dallas Stars went on an expletive-filled rant in defence of Tavares, calling out Islanders fans on Instagram.
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“[Tavares] played 10 years in that f*cking dump, with those sh*tty fans,” Avery said. “He didn’t say a word, was a great captain, never got arrested. Didn’t say f*cking boo. You losers want to ruin his night coming back to play for you guys? What was he supposed to do?”
“You f*cking greasy Islander f*cks. You guys get out-cheered in your own barn by Rangers fans every time the Rangers play the Islanders in Long Island.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory also leant his support to Tavares, albeit in a much less aggressive way.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 1, 2019
Leafs Nation has been showing the love for Tavares on social media today, using the hashtag #TavaresDayTO.
Can we get #TavaresDayTO trending today? And keep it going tomorrow?
Can we make tomorrow “John Tavares Day” in Toronto?
Can we get @JohnTory to sign an official proclaimation making tomorrow “John Tavares Day” in Toronto?
RT if you agree. Let’s show Johnny why he came home
— Adam Wylde (@AdamWylde) March 1, 2019
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) March 1, 2019
John Tavares once stopped and talked to me after one of his games when he was a London Knight and gave me 2 autographed jerseys, let me wear his medal from the world juniors and gave me a new favourite player, #TavaresDayTO @AdamWylde @JeffVeillette pic.twitter.com/nuU01ZIqui
— Ty (@Ieivo) March 1, 2019
No matter how happy John Tavares was to sign in Toronto, there's no denying that last night was probably an emotional rollercoaster for JT.
John's childhood dream was our dream come true as well. Let's remind JT why he chose to come home. Make tomorrow #TavaresDayTO in Toronto!
— March of the Kapanens🍩 (Not Kappy) (@ThatsKappy) March 1, 2019
Looking forward to #TavaresDayTO tomorrow when he lights up the Sabres and realizes the decision he made to come live out his childhood dream after dragging a shit franchise on his back for the last 9 years is the best decision he’s ever made.
— Quinn Smith (@KwnStorm) March 1, 2019
WE DO NEED YOU! #TavaresDayTO
— Karl and the Leafs (@karlandtheleafs) March 1, 2019
— Adam Gignac (@AdamGignac) March 1, 2019