It’s no secret John Tavares faces a tough decision regarding free agency. Everyone knows it. As each day passes Islander fans begin to worry a little more that their captain might not return after next season. When everything is all said and done I think Tavares will stay. He will stick around because of the New York Islanders perks, not leave because of their faults.
The last few weeks have been quiet surrounding the New York Islanders and the NHL. No matter how quiet it is Tavares will always be on the minds of fans. Outside of the addition of Jordan Eberle it’s been a tough summer for the self-esteem of Islander fans.
Tavares has given way more to the Islanders than this team has ever asked for. Tavares has single handily won his fair share of games and helped the Isles win their first playoff series since 1993. It is only fair to let the man take his time and put serious thought into where his future will be.
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The experts and analysts only say what is wrong with the Islanders. From the Barclays ice to having no permeant arena, it seems like the world is crumbling. It’s not. The media gives us reasons why Tavares is considering leaving New York. The impression is that playing for the Isles is a burden. Well, maybe they are wrong. Here’s some of the positives of the organization.
From top to bottom the Islanders are devoted to Tavares
Tavares is a hero to Islander fans, and as long as he plays for the team, he always will be. From the 2009 draft party at Nassau Coliseum to his game 6 goal against the Panthers, fans have been crazy for their captain. Tavares brought this team back to relevancy and Isles fans will never shy away from thanking him. They bring passion and excitement to the game every night and Tavares knows that. He has made this team his home. He has a great relationship with management and his teammates. Tavares has to realize that doesn’t come every day. Islander fans and personnel will always have his back.
They are going to compete for a while:
The Islanders might not win the Stanley Cup this season, but they will compete. Garth Snow has set this team up to compete not only next season, but for a long time due to their prospect pool. Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, and Michael Dal Colle headline just some of the names to play with the likes of Tavares and Eberle. Speaking of Eberle, Snow finally showed some effort to get Tavares a forward. For the right price, nothing is going to stop him from making this team even better. Yes, the Duchene price was ridiculous but that’s another story.
Speaking of Eberle, Snow finally showed some effort to get Tavares a forward. For the right price, Garth was finally able to acquire that elusive winger for Tavares. Yes, the Duchene price was too ridiculous but that’s another story.
No Great Suitors:
There have been lots of talk of Tavares leaving but not many teams to talk about. The only two teams mentioned are of course Toronto and the Tampa Bay Lightning. He could have the chance to go back to his home town of Toronto and play with Auston Matthews and the up and coming Leafs.
Even in his hometown, Tavares would not be the star. He would play second fiddle to Matthews and fly under the radar. For years now he has shot down the media’s idea of him ending up in Toronto. I don’t believe he is about to change that on a dime as soon as his contract in New York expires.
As far the Lightning are concerned I would put the percentage he ends up there at almost zero. Obviously, the chance to play with Steven Stamkos sounds like a dream scenario but he would need to take a major pay cut. Tampa has had salary cap issues and is in no position to sign a player of Tavares caliber. I rule them out.
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The arena situation seems like a reason to leave, but maybe it’s not. The bidding for Belmont Park is open and the Isles are reported to be strong suitors for a bid. If Tavares can put up with playing at the Barclays Center for hopefully no more than two seasons, it just may be worth it. Tavares will get to captain the Islanders into a new arena back on Long Island, a place he has certainly established his love for.
He can be a legend on a historic franchise
I think it is safe to say Tavares is already one of the best Islanders of all time. He has the chance to move up even higher on that list if he stays. Tavares can do something special, especially in today’s game and that is remain with a single team his whole career.
If he can continue to dominate and remain an Islander and fingers crossed get a cup to the island, there’s no doubt his name will be placed among the greats. His 91 will be raised to the rafters of that arena in Belmont Park and the crowd will love him, just like they have since day one. There is nothing better for an athlete than to become an icon in New York. In a world in sports where stars move from team to team, Tavares can put himself on the top of the world in a historic franchise in the best city in the world.
There is nothing better for an athlete than to become an icon in New York. In a world in sports where stars move from team to team, Tavares can put himself on the top of the world in a historic franchise in the best city in the world.
My gut feeling is that Tavares will stay with the team, but in sports, anything can happen. I think he will look past the rough patches and see the good parts of New York. This team can be a mess at times but Tavares is devoted to the Islanders. He owes us nothing yet still wants to give us everything. He knows this team is family. His competitive nature wants to bring this family a championship. Let’s be patient, contract negotiations are no walk in the park. Let the plan work its course.