New York Islanders Conor McDavid On John Tavares Extention

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 25: John Tavares
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 25: John Tavares /

With rumors of Connor McDavid’s extension with the Edmonton Oilers reaching unheard of numbers, how will that affect the New York Islanders discussions with John Tavares and his pending extension?

As we creep closer July 1, New York Islanders fans get increasingly anxious as to the fate of superstar player John Tavares and with him the fate of the franchise.

That sounds hyperbolic, but we all know it’s true. Losing Tavares would put this franchise in some dark, dark days. Even if a trade happens, what the Islanders get back in any trade isn’t going to equate what they give up.

First line centers and top ten players in the league don’t grow on trees. Montréal’s been trying to get one for years. The Rangers haven’t had one in a dog’s age. Long may that continue.

The New York Islanders need John Tavares. Tavares doesn’t necessarily need the Islanders. Making the whole situation that much more anxiety-riddled.

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The McDavid Effect

Before news of the rumored eight years $106 million Connor McDavid extension came out, we were all comfortable with Tavares at a $10 million price point. It made sense to make him one of the highest-paid players in the game.

Not only because he produces like one, with just under a point per game since he started in 2009-10. But because of what he means to the organization.

But now that Connor McDavid is rumored to become the highest paid player in the league, by a healthy margin, how’s it going to affect the market and that number we were previously ok with? Is $12 million a year too much?

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The Stamkos Exception

At this point, I and most Islanders fans are thinking: “give him whatever he wants”. Because the negative externality of Tavares’s cap hit are still better than the negative externality of him not being on the team next year.

But who says that Tavares even signs for $12 million? That’s certainly what the market might dictate is what he’s worth, but we’ve seen players sign for sub-market values. Even after another player inflates the market with a big money signing.

In 2016 Steven Stamkos was the UFA talk of the NHL world. He could have had his pick of NHL teams to play for. But after all the dust settled he decided to stay with the Tampa Bay Lightning with an eight year $68 million deal.

And that’s after Anze Kopitar has signed an eight-year $80 million deal with the Los Angeles Kings just six months prior.

Yes, Florida has no state income tax. But an $8.5 million cap hit was still below market value for what Stamkos was bringing to the table. Which was a 0.99 points per game, since entering the league to the time he signed his deal. A whole 0.10 points per game better than Kopitar.

So who says Tavares takes a sub-market value, say between $10-$11 million in order to give the New York Islanders a bit of respite on the cap.

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I wouldn’t fault him for taking max money. He’s earned the right to do so. But with that being said I can see a scenario where Tavares takes less than $12 million. Because we’ve seen it happen, just last season.