It’s not news to any New York Islanders fan, John Tavares once again came out to say he wants to sign an extension with the team that drafted him.
John Tavares has been saying consistently for months now, he absolutely wants to sign an extension with the team this offseason.
In his end-of-season, quasi-state-of-the-Isles presser, Tavares reiterated that he wanted to extend his contract with the Islanders. This time however, Tavares tries to dispell any fears that might come if an extension isn’t announced on July 1st.
"But at the same time it’s a process and we’ve seen other guys go through it where it doesn’t necessarily happen the first day it can happen. I’m just speaking out loud. We’ll see how things go. Like I’ve said before and during the season, I’ve never had to worry about it because it’s just not that time yet. Now as the time approaches we’ll start going through the process of talking and getting there"
Islanders fans got anxious when Newsday’s Arthur Staple told Dimitry Filipovic on his PDOcast that if the Isles and Tavares don’t have an agreement on July 1st, the team should consider trading him.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
Tavares is coming to the final year of his $5.5 million six-year deal signed back in 2011. Since then he’s gone to score 416 points in 426 games played for the Islanders.
He means everything to this franchise. He’s both the present and the future. Trading him would toss the Islanders right back into obscurity and years at the bottom of the NHL standings.
But with that being said rushing an extension isn’t the best option either.
This franchise has a lot to prove to its superstar and franchise player. It needs to prove to him that they are building a winner. Both in the immediate and in years to come.
Ownership still needs to prove to Tavares that they’ll surround him not only with the best accumulation of talent on the ice but off the ice. That means coaching and management.
It’s no secret that the Islanders GM made a number of…curious moves this season. First, holding three goalies on the active roster for the second straight season, to bringing in P.A. Parenteau and then waiving him a month later, to keeping a failing coach two months past his expiration date.
Garth Snow will need to prove that these mistakes won’t be done again, to ownership and to John Tavares.
Ownership is going to have to stop playing and interviewing anyone with a hockey background and finally appoint someone as President of Hockey Operations. They just like Garth, need to prove to their star asset that this organization is going to be run like a championship caliber team.
It’s not a tall ask, but they need to prove to Tavares they have what it takes to get him a winning team. Money isn’t an issue. The Isles will have $36 million in cap space by the time Tavares’ extension hit the books. Why he does or doesn’t sign will be in the details and it’s going to take some time to sort it out.