New York Islanders Shouldn’t Be Thinking About Trading John Tavares

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: John Tavares
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: John Tavares /

As the New York Islanders have slipped down, and now out, of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, we’re starting to hear calls for the Isles to trade away their All-World captain John Tavares before he hits free agency this summer. That will not happen….ever.

The New York Islanders are currently are sitting on the outside looking in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Without Tavares, virtually all hope would be lost for the Isles to make the playoffs this year. Although Islanders centerman John Tavares would bring back a king’s ransom in a trade, the Islanders should never, ever, consider going down that path.

The hypothetical haul that a deal would bring back, by absolutely no means, should give the Islanders even an inkling that trading away one of the best players in franchise history would be a good idea. Nevermind the backlash they’d receive from the New York media. The fanbase would be burning symbolic Garth Snows in effigy.

Though if the Islanders were ever going to explore the possibility of making a deal for their all-star center, now would be the time. The haul of prospects and draft picks that John Tavares would bring back to the New York Islanders would set this team up for success for years to come.

With Tavares’ current contract expiring at the end of this season and the game-changing level of talent he brings to the table, there is no doubt be teams would be lined up from the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn all the way to Park Slope for the chance to make a deal.

Don’t do it!

No matter how enticing all this may seem to those who have been calling for a rebuild, the New York Islanders cannot entertain this idea. The Islanders’ future, both on the ice and off, is looking brighter than it’s been in a very long time. This team is only a few pieces away from becoming one of the most dangerous teams in the Eastern Conference, and possibly the entire league.

By setting that process back a few years and trading John Tavares for a boatload of prospects, the Islanders would likely be entering their brand new arena at Belmont Park Racetrack with a young, cellar-dwelling team. That certainly wouldn’t be good for ticket sales in the inaugural season at a new arena, now would it?

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If the New York Islanders can re-sign John Tavares to a long-term contract, it would keep him in the Blue & Orange for, most likely, the remainder of his career. Having a player like Tavares gives the Islanders instant credibility. As I’ve said before, he makes everyone on this team, not just those on the ice with him, better just by being there.

He sees opportunities on the ice that other players just don’t see. Combine that with the otherworldly skills he possesses, and you have not only a franchise cornerstone but a player who other players (read: free agents) want to come and play with. That can only bode well for the New York Islanders.

Seriously, don’t do it…

By trading away such a valuable asset in John Tavares and banking on the hope that he’d re-sign in the off-season, the New York Islanders’ front office would be making what would likely amount to be career-ending decisions for everyone involved in the move.

There is no way Garth Snow would survive the backlash of a long-frustrated Islanders fanbase if he were to make such a move. Even if the Isles did decide to trade JT before the deadline, and still somehow made the playoffs, heads would surely still roll.

Imagine it. The back page of Newsday would have pictures of fans burning Tavares jerseys, little kids (likely, adults too) crying their eyes out, the whole nine yards. Can we really expect to believe that this is the image the New York Islanders want to be attached to them as they ascend back into relevance in the NHL? No, it’s not.

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Let’s go ahead and put this talk of trading John Tavares to bed, where it belongs. The New York Islanders owe a ton of credit to John Tavares for turning this franchise around for the one-millionth time. He’s said publicly that he wants to remain an Islander for the rest of his career. Why would the New York Islanders ever entertain the notion of trading him away? They wouldn’t.