John Tavares has been with the Buffalo Bandits since the beginning, and as the NLL’s all time leading scorer, his production has never been a question. Last week he was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career, and it has him thinking differently. From the Buffalo News:
“I was a healthy scratch for the first time in my career,” Tavares said, adding that retirement popped into his head. “I wondered about my lacrosse career. I’ve struggled a bit lately, and maybe that’s why I didn’t play.”
After the game last week, a loss to Minnesota, head coach Troy Cordingley told us it was to rest Tavares for the playoffs. He was in the lineup last night but the Bandits still lost their sixth game in a row, yet they still hold a half game lead on the Toronto Rock for the second seed. A win tonight locks that up.
““He wanted to play. He always believes he can be a difference-maker. He was disappointed” general manager Steve Dietrich told the Buffalo News. Tavares has three goals in his last four games, something unusual for the star scorer.
“It puts a question in my mind,” Tavares said about his output. “It hits you in your confidence. At 45, the writing is on the wall that you can’t go on too much farther.
“I’m 45 and I’m going to have injuries – pulled muscles, previous injuries like the calf. The time off seemed to help a lot. By the same token, I was a step behind in terms of my skills. The game was a lot faster. I was a step behind in my decision-making.”
Tavares has not yet decided on if or where he will play this summer. At the end of every NLL season, the career longevity of Tavares is discussed and it is always asked if he will continue. The signs are pointing that it might be his last year. But who knows? That’s been said for the last five seasons.