A special story involving the Islanders that was lost in last season's deep, dark abyss was the tale of 11-year-old Manitoban Jake Lotocki, who wore his John Tavares jersey to a game in Winnipeg and was harassed on his way out of the MTS Centre by some brutish (and most likely drunk-ass) Jets fans.
Tavares, out injured after his ligament tear at the Olympics, got wind of the incident and together with the Islanders sent Jake a care package of swag and a promise to meet the kid and his mom the next time the Islanders visited Winnipeg.
The Islanders finally played the Jets on the road on New Year's Eve and Tavares kept his end of the deal, meeting Jake before the game and giving him some time and a bobblehead.
For those of us with so much invested in Tavares, the act of generosity comes as no surprise. Sue Lotocki told the Winnipeg Sun that Tavares' charitable personality is part of why Jake is a huge fan of a player and a team based a thousand miles from his home.
"One of the reasons that Jake has been a fan of John's for so long is because of the way he presents himself," she said. "Jake was drawn to him. This definitely reinforces our opinion about him, not only being an excellent hockey player but a really good person."
MSG ran a video of the powwow during the first intermission of the Islanders' 5-2 win over the Jets. Jake seemed a little beside himself with all the attention, but he knows for sure that Tavares and the Islanders have his back no matter what.