No matter who the New York Islanders manage to acquire (or don’t) the biggest story of this summer will revolve around its captain. The Islanders first chance to get John Tavares to put the pen to the paper will come this Saturday, but don’t be surprised when he doesn’t sign.
There’s no hiding the future of the New York Islanders for years to come relies heavily on Garth Snow’s efforts to sign John Tavares to an extension. Tavares though has reportedly let it be known that he is in no rush to sign. Whether that is a concern or not is up for your interpretation.
Either way, it is not the time to panic if Tavares doesn’t sign a new deal this weekend. I’m sure that Tavares does want to see the true direction of where this team is headed. He has claimed multiple time that he wants to stick with this team.
The Story So Far
Snow was able to lock up a new wing mate for Tavares when he traded for Jordan Eberle last week. Eberle and Tavares are very familiar with each other on and off the ice. The two have played on the same line on multiple occasions for Team Canada.
New York Islanders
Bringing in another forward like a Matt Duchene or an Alex Galchenyuk will once again show Tavares that the team is ready to win now. The Islanders have missed the playoffs five of the eight years Tavares has been in the NHL.
You can’t blame him for wanting to be assured he will have the capable pieces around him before committing to remain an Islander long term.
Tavares is waiting to see the state of team’s arena situation. That even might resonate with him more than Snow getting another forward. The Barclays Center has certainly been a disastrous process and its ice conditions can be held responsible for Tavares’s season-ending injury last March.
If ownership can gain leverage in the Belmont situation in the upcoming weeks, that may ease Tavares’s mind. Why would he want to sign a long-term deal with a team who doesn’t have a clue where they will be located beyond their tenure in the horrible arena they play in now?
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Don’t Blame Him
You can’t blame Tavares for wanting to take his time with this process, but that doesn’t mean it is time to panic either. For one, money will not be an issue. Management has made sure to open up cap room to sign Tavares to the deal he deserves. Snow also has all the assets to acquire one more elite forward to get the Islanders to the next level.
If the arena situation is figured out, in due time I firmly believe Tavares will be an Islander for the rest of his career.
It’s about keeping a level head at this point. When Saturday comes and goes and Tavares does not sign a new deal, the ridiculous headlines will be through the roof. I’m sure the Toronto media will have a field day with the fantasy of Auston Matthews and Tavares on the same team.
Analysts will tell you that if Tavares does not sign soon, Snow is going to looking into trading his elite forward. I won’t buy into any of this just yet, and neither should you. Islander fans should let the process play out before losing their minds.
If there is a time to panic, you will know. This is not it. Trust in Snow and let him do whatever he must do to make sure Tavares is an Islander for life.